The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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December 28, 2012

West Virginia leaders see opportunity in EPA's Jackson resignation

— After four years serving as an Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Lisa Jackson has announced her resignation.

The Associated Press reports that Jackson gave no particular reason for leaving, but said she was ready for new challenges, time with her family and new opportunities to make a difference.

Her tenure was marked by high-profile brawls with industry and congressional Republicans over global warming and new controls on coal-fired plants.

With her departure effective in January, several state politicians say they see this as an opportunity for the White House to bring balance back to the EPA.

“I hope President Obama will carefully consider the next appointee who will fill this extremely important position,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. “With tough economic times and growing energy needs, we need leadership that will have the perspective to work with all sides to move our country forward.”

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-3rd District,  said the White House now has a chance “to set a more reasonable and balanced course with respect to our energy policies and coal jobs.”

“Certainly an administrator who better understands the costs of EPA actions to our communities and respects the legal process when it comes to regulation would be an improvement. But I’m not dancing any jigs in optimistic anticipation. The roots of the problems at EPA run deeper than one person.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said there is no question that he and Lisa Jackson had their differences, but he added, “We were always able to have a respectful dialogue.”

“I wish her well in her next endeavor. I will continue to fight for a balanced energy policy for the United States, which is exactly what we have in West Virginia, and I look forward to working with anyone willing to help bring this commonsense West Virginia approach to the 113th Congress.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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