The departing head of the EPA attended to science more than politics. The president, his second term secure, should follow suit in replacing her.
Lisa Jackson will leave her job as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency having done a lot to protect the environment and public health. But not as much as she set out to do or as much as President Obama pledged to do at the start of his first term — particularly, to address climate change.
The faltering economy and political push-back prompted a change of course by the president, who reined in his EPA chief as he headed into a bitterly fought re-election campaign. And he abandoned early on an ambitious legislative attempt to limit industrial greenhouse gas emissions after a House cap-and-trade bill went down in ignominious defeat in the Senate.