We can’t think of any member of the Obama administration who has been more reviled by the farm community than Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Jackson announced last week that she will leave her post sometime after the president’s State of the Union address later this month. With the exception of a laudatory statement from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, agriculture leaders have largely been silent in the wake of the announcement.
That’s a departure from much of her four-year tenure, when Jackson and her agency were regularly the focus of a great deal of discussion anywhere farmers and ranchers gathered.
Environmentalists expected the Obama EPA to be far more proactive than under the previous administration. While many in that camp didn’t think Jackson went far enough, she succeeded in heaping on additional regulations that cost the automobile and energy industries billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
Early on farmers and ranchers were worried about the potential impacts of greenhouse gas regulations that were reportedly considered. There was also concern the EPA would clamp down on farm dust as it conducted its regular review of fine and course particulate matter as required by the Clean Air Act. There were also reports that the agency sought to broaden the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, and to extend its regulatory reach.