Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced Thursday that she is stepping down as President Barack Obama's chief environmental watchdog.
Jackson, the first African-American to head the EPA, indicated that she will resign after the president's State of the Union.
During her four years in the position, Jackson often butted heads with Republicans and many in the energy industry over issues including global warming and air pollution regulations.
Jackson even encountered some resistance from the president, as Obama opposed some regulations that he thought could slow down the economic recovery
"I want to thank President Obama for the honor he bestowed on me and the confidence he placed in me four years ago this month when he announced my nomination as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency," Jackson said in a statement.
Jackson went on to cite comments by Obama in which he said the EPA has helped make historic progress on ensuring the safety of "the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat," protecting the environment for future generations and moving toward energy independence.
"So, 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," she added.
In a separate statement, Obama praised Jackson's leadership at the EPA, pointing to her implementation of the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, her actions to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and her key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards.
"Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children," Obama said.
He added, "Lisa has been an important part of my team, and I want to thank her for her service in my Administration and her tireless efforts to benefit the American people. I wish her all the best wherever her future takes her."
Jackson is just the latest member of Obama's cabinet to announce their intention to resign, a frequent occurrence when a president is entering his second term.
by RTT Staff Writer
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