Wednesday, March 14, 2012

EPA Administrator stresses the importance of Cleaner Tomorrows

EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, answers questions today at House Oversight Committee Hearing

By: Matthew Brincko

EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, stressed the capability of Cleaner Tomorrows in todays house hearing.  Ms. Jackson faced a series of questions from Congressman Elijah Cummings about the qualifications of Cleaner Tomorrows, a firm hired by the EPA to assist with the drafting of environmental impact statement about the Keystone Pipeline. 

Cummings asked Ms. Jackson, “Do you remember why Mendax said that Cleaner tomorrows was illegitimate to do this project?”, to which she replied “ I believe it was that Cleaner Tomorrows was not in the Top Five. [Cardinal Entrics was] definitely not [in the top five]. According to Engineering News Record…Cardinal Entrics was not even in the top 400 of contracting companies listed. And it only had about 5,000 employees while on average the bigger contracting companies have tens of thousands of employees. The fact that Mendax said that cleaner tomorrows was too small to take on the challenge because they were not in the top five is really false and unfair.”

Mr. Cummings responded by asking “So was this June 6th 2011 report just as trustworthy as the Cardinal Mendax report?” to which Jackson responded by stressing the substantial improvement on the Cardinal Mendax report.  “Yes definitely. It is definitely more thorough than the supplemental draft of the environmental impact statement. What Cleaner Tomorrows helped the EPA do, they investigated further and not only pointed out where there were flaws in the original report, but they pointed out ways to fix those flaws”.  Jackson went even further saying, “The final environmental impact statement will be even better because Cleaner Tomorrows helped us."

Cummings wrapped up his questioning of Ms. Jackson with his final question, (Referring to the 60 day timeline) “Would more time make it more thorough?”, to which Jackson responded “Of course. I think that the more time that we have, we will be able to investigate more and understand more about how the environment will be effected by the pipeline."

Clearly this isn’t the last we’ve heard about the Keystone pipeline as coverage of this topic will be continued in the ensuing days. #

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