Update: EPA confirmation back on track


Update: Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has lifted his objection to allowing a vote on Lisa Jackson’s nomination for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator by unanimous consent, Greg Keeley, Barrasso’s spokesman said. This means the vote could come as soon as this evening.

Barrasso’s change of heart came after he spoke with Carol Browner, Obama’s energy and environment czar. The pair will meet next week to discuss Barrasso’s concerns about her new role and how it may affect the  independence of EPA.


Original Post: EPA Confirmation Delayed

The Environmental Protection Agency may have to wait a while to see the changes Lisa Jackson, Obama’s nominee for agency administrator, promised at a hearing last week.

That’s because Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has requested more time to review her nomination, CQ reported today (subscription may be required). Barrasso is not concerned so much about Jackson’s qualifications for the post, as he is about whether the new White House environmental czar, Carol Browner, would diminish or usurp Jackson’s authorities, according to CQ.

At last week’s hearing Barrasso expressed concern that Browner and Jackson would clash over how to implement environmental regulations.

“Who will ultimately make final EPA decisions?” Barasso asked. “If the two of you disagree on an environmental issue how does that work?”

Jackson replied that regardless of Browner’s White House role, EPA decisions will still fall to the administrator, and she will uphold and enforce the law if confirmed, Jackson said. She also downplayed the possibility of a turf war.

“I’m sure advisers can agree or disagree on any number of issues and her advice and counsel is something I will certainly seek,” Jackson said.


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