Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said Sunday there has never been a loss of jobs “that’s ever, in this country, been blamed on the fact that we insist you don’t pollute our air, or that you don’t pollute our water,” in an interview with TV One’s “Washington Watch.”
ROLAND MARTIN: Some people will say that by pushing these various rules that it’s impacting jobs–that it’s taking jobs away. I always say that that becomes the Kryptonite for any conversation–that the moment you say, “Jobs will be lost,” people go, “Oh, no, then we can’t do it.” So how do you respond whenever that’s always the answer given, that measures EPA’s taking that’s taking away thousands and millions of jobs? I see the coal commercials on these Sunday morning news shows targeting the EPA.
LISA JACKSON: Well, they’re going after EPA but the facts don’t bear out the claims they’re making. First off, the EPA’s been around for 40 years. There hasn’t been one economic downturn or loss of jobs that’s ever, in this country, been blamed on the fact that we insist you don’t pollute our air, or that you don’t pollute our water–the fact that we have strong environmental laws and an EPA. So that’s number one, the facts aren’t there. Number two, we’re very mindful–because the president has asked us to be–that this nation is trying to grow jobs in this economy. One of the ways we believe you do that is set standards that are actually job creating. Our mercury and air-toxic standards create 41,000 short-term construction jobs–net positive for jobs–create thousands of longer-term jobs. What we’re doing is investing in our energy infrastructure here– removing arsenic, removing mercury, removing cadmium, removing lead–and at the same time, creating jobs. That’s actually how the environmental movement has developed, and there are millions of Americans who work in fields that are related to cleaner air and cleaner water.