Jackson to Senate: You Do Your Job, I’ll Do Mine

Photo courtsey of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

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Facing assaults from all sides on her agency’s plans to limit carbon dioxide, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Monday renewed her support for both her duty to regulate planet-warming gases, and the need for Congress to act meaningfully.

Jackson has plenty of reason to be frustrated. The Senate climate bill has been moving forward at a glacial pace. She’s maintained that she prefers new legislation on climate, but the Senate has yet to produce that. Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has undertaken an effort to block the agency’s scientific conclusion that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health, and a number of industry groups have also filed lawsuits to that end. And last week Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and a trio of coal-state House members introduced measures to delay EPA regulations for one year, which they said would give Congress more time to act. But Jackson maintained that the EPA has a legal obligation to move forward–and rather than spending time undermining her agency, perhaps the Senate should get to work on a new climate bill.

“I am not in a position where I am going to stand here and support the idea of EPA not being able to use the Clean Air Act,” she told reporters on Monday. “The energy of the Senate on this issue would be wonderful if it would be put towards new legislation to do something.”

She also argued that Congress should keep its focus on an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions, as senators are reportedly considering a scaled-back option that caps only electric utilities. “The more you move away from an economy wide approach, you lose some opportunities to really harness that private sector investment,” she said.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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