Lisa P. Jackson

  • Aired:  05/19/11
  •  | Views: 35,226

Lisa P. Jackson explains that regulating mercury would prevent thousands of deaths and create jobs. (6:20)

>> Jon: MY GUEST TONIGHT,

SHE IS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

AGENCY, WELCOME BACK TO THE

PROGRAM LISA P JACKSON.

WELCOME TO YOU AGAIN.

HOW ARE YOU?

>> I'M WELL, THANK YOU VERY

MUCH.

>> Jon: VERY NICE TO SEE

YOU.

I GOT YOU SOME WATER.

I WANT YOU TO RELAX.

THE EPA, YOU GUYS ARE IN A

REAL DOGFIGHT NOW THAT THE

NEW CONGRESS HAS TAKEN OVER.

FOR SOME REASON THEY FEEL

THAT THE EPA IS THE EXAMPLE

THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO SET

FOR GOVERNMENT OVERREACH, IF

YOU WILL.

>> YUP, I CERTAINLY HEARD

THAT.

WE HEAR THINGS LIKE DEFUND

THE EPA, THE SCARIEST AGENCY

IN GOVERNMENT.

WE WONDER WHERE SOME OF THAT

IS COMING FROM.

BUT IT'S DEFINITELY AN

INSIDE THE BELTWAY MIND OF

REASONING.

>> Jon: I CAN TELL ARE YOU

WHERE IT IS COMING FROM,

ACTUALLY.

I ACTUALLY SEE THEM ON C PAC,

IT IS CALLED THE REPUBLICAN

PARTY.

WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE, YOU

KNOW, GOVERNMENT REGULATION

IS, I DON'T THINK ANYBODY

WOULD ARGUE THAT IT ISN'T AT

TIMES BUREAUCRATIC,

BURDENSOME, THOSE KINDS OF

THINGS.

BUT THE EPA HAS, FOR A

GOVERNMENT AGENCY, A

RELATIVELY GOOD TRACK RECORD,

CLEAN AIR ACT, CLEAN WATER

ACT.

THOSE SEEM TO BE

UNASSAILABLE SUCCESSES.

ARE THERE PEOPLE THAT ARGUE

THAT THOSE AREN'T GOOD

PROGRAMS?

>> I THINK THERE ARE.

I THINK THAT HAPPENS FROM

TIME TO TIME.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT EPA,

FOUNDED IN 1970 UNDER A

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT.

ACTS THAT CAME ALONG WITH T

THE CLEAN AIR ACT YOU

MENTIONED, THE CLEAN WATER

ACT, SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT,

SUPERFUND, ALL ALMOST

ENTIRELY BIPARTISAN ACTS,

OFTENTIMES UNANIMOUS.

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE AND I

THINK IT'S BECAUSE WE ARE

DOING OUR JOB UNDER THIS

PRESIDENT, WE HAVE TO REMIND

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT

ENVIRONMENTALISM ISN'T A

SPECTATOR SPORT.

YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO STAND

UP AND DEMAND THAT WE BE

VIGILANT IN PROTECTING OUR

AIR AND WATER.

>> Jon: THE ARGUMENT ALWAYS

SEEMS TO BE--

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: THAT PEOPLE ENJOY

AIR AND WATER.

THE ARGUMENT SEEMS TO BE

THAT THE EPA CANNOT DO THAT

WITHOUT KILLING BUSINESS OR

KILLING JOBS.

THAT TO KEEP, LET'S SAY

DIOXIN FROM KILLING US, WE

MUST KILL THE FACTORY.

IS THERE A HAPPY MEDIUM?

CAN WE NOT DIE BUT ALSO THEY

LIVE?

>> WE CAN--

(LAUGHTER)

>> WE CAN HAVE A STRONG

ECONOMY AND A STRONG AND

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT.

WE CAN HAVE CLEAN AIR AND

CLEAN WATER.

AND IN FACT, AS EVIDENCE OF

THAT.

THERE IS EVIDENCE IN THE

LAST 40 YEARS THAT THE AIR

IS 60% CLEANER WHILE OUR GDP

WAS UP 207% OVER THAT

PERIOD.

>> Jon: IS THIS SCIENTIFIC

EVIDENCE BECAUSE I

DON'T-- I-- I FIND THAT

THOSE TYPES OF FACTS ARE

VERY UNPERSUASIVE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WHAT WOULD PERSUADE YOU.

>> Jon: A FEELING.

(LAUGHTER)

A FEELING THAT IT WASN'T

RIGHT OR WORKING.

>> WELL-- .

>> Jon: TO THE POINT, SO

YOU'RE TRYING TO REGULATE

MERCURY.

AND THEY SAY THIS COULD

PREVENT THOUSANDS OF DEATHS.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Jon: AND WHAT IS THE

ARGUMENT AGAINST THAT?

>> WELL, I'VE HEARD

ARGUMENTS THAT WE'RE GOING

TO KILL JOBS.

AND WHEN WE TALK ABOUT

MERCURY, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT

THE MERCURY IN AIR, TOXIC

STANDARDS THAT WE ANNOUNCED

TWO MONTHS AGO.

FIRST OFF, 21 YEARS IN THE

MAKING.

THESE ARE STANDARDS THAT

WERE CALLED FOR IN 1990.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

DID SOME, THEY WERE THROWN

OUT BY THE COURT BECAUSE

THEY WERE TRADING MERCURY

AND NO ONE WANTED TO BE ON

THE LOSING END OF THAT TRADE,

RIGHT.

MERCURY IS A NEUROTOXIN, IT

DESTROYS OUR CHILDREN'S

BRAINS, OFTENTIMES BEFORE

THEY'RE BORN.

THESE STANDARDS ARE

ESTIMATED TO PREVENT 17,000

PREMATURE DEATHS EACH YEAR,

PREVENT 11,000 HEART ATTACKS

EACH YEAR, AND HALF OF THE

POWER PLANTS IN OUR COUNTRY

ALREADY HAVE CONTROLS FOR

MERCURY AND ARSENIC AND THE

DIOXINS IN PARTICULAR MATTER

THAT YOU GET TO CONTROL

ALONG WITH IT.

THE ONLY THING WE HEAR IS IT

CAN'T BE DONE.

AND EVERYTHING WE KNOW AND

EVERY MODEL THAT WE RUN

SHOWS THAT IT ABSOLUTELY CAN

BE DONE.

AND THAT IT WOULD ACTUALLY

CREATE JOBS.

SOMEONE HAS TO BUILD ALL

THOSE SCRUBBERS AND FILTERS

THAT DEAL WITH MERCURY.

>> Jon: SO YOU GOT THAT ONE

THROUGH.

BUT THERE'S ANOTHER ONE,

MERCURY AND DIOXIN THAT YOU

HAD TO PULL, WHAT IS THAT

ONE?

>> SO THE MERCURY FOR THE

UTILITY AND POWER PLANTS HAS

BEEN PROPOSED.

IT'S NOT THROUGH YET BUT WE

INTEND TO FINALIZE IT.

WE ALSO PROPOSED A MERCURY

AND AIR TOXIC STANDARD FOR

BOILERS.

THESE ARE EVERYTHING FROM

SCHOOLS TO FACTORIES USE

COAL AND BURN IT TO MAKE

POWER.

THOSE STANDARDS ARE A LITTLE

MORE COMPLICATED BECAUSE ARE

YOU COVERING A SECRETARY

THEIR IS MUCH LARGER, IT IS

NOT JUST POWER PLANTS, IT'S

EVERYTHING.

SO WE JUST RECENTLY WERE

REQUESTED, WE PETITIONED TO

RECONSIDER THE RULE.

WE AGREED TO DO THAT AND TO

STAY IT FOR A VERY LIMITED

PERIOD OF TIME.

WE'LL BE ANNOUNCING A

SCHEDULE SOON BUT WE ARE

COMMITTED TO THE RULE.

I KNOW PEOPLE ARE WORRIED.

WE WILL FINALIZE THAT RULE

BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT.

>> Jon: WHAT IS THE

POLITICAL PRESSURE LIKE IN

WASHINGTON TO NOT HAVE THESE

RULES.

BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE THIS

IS, THERE IS AN EPIC BATTLE

OCCURRING BENEATH THE

SURFACE, ONE OF A TREMENDOUS

AMOUNT OF CORPORATE MONEY,

PREVENTING THESE TYPES OF

RULES FROM GOING INTO

EFFECT.

WHAT THE IS THE TYPE OF

PRESSURE THAT YOU FACE.

LOBBYISTS, PHONE CALLSES, AT

NIGHT YOU GET, LET'S SAY, A

TUNA HEAD IN YOUR BED

BECAUSE --

>> FULL OF MERCURY.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT I'M

TALKING ABOUT.

WHAT IS THE ISSUES THAT YOU

FACE.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, FIRST I

WAS TOLD I WOULD HAVE A

PARKING PLACE ON CAPITOL

HILL.

AND I HAVE TESTIFIED MORE

TIMES IN THIS CONGRESS THAN

ANY OTHER CABINET MEMBER.

INCLUDING PEOPLE LIKE

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS WHO IS IN

CHARGE OF HEALTH CARE FOR

THIS COUNTRY OR JANET

NAPOLITANO WHO DOES HOMELAND

SECURITY.

SO THERE IS A LOT

OF-- AROUND IT.

SOME OF THESE HEARINGS HAVE

PRETTY INTIMIDATING NAMES.

I DON'T MIND GOING UP THERE

BECAUSE I THINK IT'S

IMPORTANT TO EXPLAIN TO THE

AMERICAN PEOPLE, THIS

SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING UNDER

THE SURFACE.

YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT YOUR

CONGRESS PUT MORE RIDERS ON

THE EPA THAN ANY OTHER

AGENCY.

>> Jon: HOW DO YOU NOT-- THE

ABILITY OF, YOU KNOW, WE'RE

WE'RE-- YOU CAN STAY FOR TWO

MINUTES.

>> YES, I CAN.

>> Jon: WE'RE GOING TO THROW

TO COMMERCIAL AND WE'LL KEEP

YOU FOR FIVE MINUTES BECAUSE

I KNOW OBVIOUSLY I SAW ON

THE BACK YOU HAVE A HUGE TUB

OF MERCURY THAT YOU HAVE

BEEN DISTRIBUTING.

LISA P

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