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5. Lisa Jackson

After eight years of a do-nothing, industry-cozy Environmental Protection Agency, green activists had high hopes for the new EPA administrator, appointed by a

Dexter Cooke
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 23, 2009

Lisa Jackson
After eight years of a do-nothing, industry-cozy Environmental Protection Agency, green activists had high hopes for the new EPA administrator, appointed by a president who put climate policy near the top of his agenda. They soon had to lower their expectations, as Jackson took a hesitant and incremental approach to rolling back the highly controversial — and destructive — practice of mountaintop coal mining. But for all its wavering, the EPA took a truly historic step on Dec. 7 when it issued its long-awaited endangerment finding, which concluded that rising greenhouse gas levels posed a public health threat and enabled the agency to regulate these gases. Few expect Jackson to bear down on carbon emissions with a heavy hand, but her action served two important purposes: It showed international negotiators at the climate talks in Copenhagen that the United States was serious about cutting its emissions; and, more importantly, it put pressure on Congress to pass a comprehensive climate bill on its own terms.

Next — 4. Phil Jones

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.

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