Throughout the discussion, Lisa Jackson was clear on two main points:
1. Environmental protection is good for the economy.
The latest EPA regulation, the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, will save American’s billions in health care costs and create a market for green technology. The rule, which could reduce mercury emissions from power plants by 90%, will lead to fewer premature deaths, asthma attacks, and toxics in the fish we eat. It is estimated to save Americans $340 billion in health care costs, and that’s from just one rule! New standards spur innovation and employ workers, proving that “environment vs. jobs is a false choice.”
2. Environmental and health protections are nonpartisan.
The EPA has faced numerous congressional attacks fueled by myths and misinformation. The bottom line is that EPA standards help the health of all. “People of all backgrounds and parties want clean air and clean water,” stated Lisa Jackson, but ” the other voices have the megaphone of money. Protecting the American people, our homes, our communities is Job One for the EPA.”
Jackson explained the importance of science in the rulemaking process, noting that the EPA has the largest scientific staff other than NASA! The EPA investigates the impact of pollutants on the environment and human health and sets standards based on safe levels. Crafting EPA policies is an extensive and deliberate process, including research, public comment, and stakeholder review. In the end, “science sets the standards.”
Near the end of the discussion, Lisa Jackson revealed the motivation behind her visit to Minnesota—a stop at the state capitol to work with Governor Dayton to advance his new model for regulating non-point source pollution. Minnesotan’s can expect less algae blooms and cleaner water, if all goes well.