The most prominent member of Barack Obama's environmental team announced she was stepping down on Thursday, after four years of running battles with industry and Republicans in Congress opposed to stricter pollution controls.
Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will leave the cabinet after Obama's state of the union address in January, she said in a statement.
Under Jackson, a chemist by training, the EPA produced nearly all of Obama's main environmental decisions, enacting stricter controls on coal-fired power plants and the first standards on mercury pollution.
In a brief statement Jackson, 50, said: "I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference."Given Republican opposition to even the existence of the EPA on some days, it strikes me that getting a replacement for Jackson may be contentious. As in, they'll look for reasons to block a replacement. I know I haven't heard anything about any such intent to do that. I just, you know, have suspicions.