Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Lisa Jackson said Thursday she is stepping down in early 2013, leaving President Obama to fill another key post in his second term. Ms. Jackson, appointed by the president in 2008, said in a statement that the agency had made "historic progress" on protecting public health and the environment.
"I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready my life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference", she said.
Ms. Jackson, who came into office promising a more active EPA, had a tempestuous relationship with Texas Republicans whom thought the agency under her leadership stepped up enforcement policies to a point where it harmed the economy and energy industry - especially the technique of hydraulic fracturing.
"It's been a struggle dealing with the overreaching, agenda-driven Jackson lead EPA, hopefully the new Administrator will take jobs and the economy into consideration", said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Jackson, who was outspoken on climate change issues, pushed through new fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks, cuts in mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants, and tighter limits on soot.