EPA chief comes to Seattle, vows job growth

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 26 at 12:34 PM

SEATTLE -- Less than 12 hours after hearing her boss give the State of the Union speech EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson departed for Seattle.

Jackson came to Seattle to take a tour of Energy2, a company on the cutting edge of new battery technology.

They've developed a way to power appliances, like flashlights, for hours and recharge them in seconds.  It's the kind of company that she and President Obama want to see.

"Manufacturing, and energy, a new energy economy, skilled workers and entrepreneurial values, all in one place," said Jackson.

Smaller more nimble companies are what the administration is after and they admit it's time to ease up on some of the rules that slow that down.

"There's no question some regulations are outdated, unnecessary of too complicated," said President Obama.

The White House was forced to react to some industry complaints they cannot thrive under heavy environmental pressure and from some of the public which rejected the drive to replace older incandescent light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent.

"CFLs were great technology to transition us away from incandescents.  They do have small amounts of mercury, so you do have to care for them when you dispose of them," said Jackson. "But now we're moving onto yet another technology."

Even more efficient and safer LED lights are the new big thing.

The president also spoke about expanding natural gas production and easing rules for other industries that many say were hurt by environmental rules.

It's not a case insists Jackson, that the EPA is caving to the critics who call it a job killing agency. 

"I think that it's a dangerous time because, although Americans certainly want to see our economy grow we also want to make sure we don't roll back the clock on protections and take the environmental cop off the beat," said Jackson.

Even when the beat is obviously changing day-by-day.

Jackson defends the White House's rejection of the big Canadian pipeline project through the U.S., saying there is only one chance to make sure its safe before letting construction begin.

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