EPA Administrator Optimistic About New Laws

Lisa Jackson, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is re-energizing the agency with a sweeping agenda.

Jackson made waves recently with a ruling that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. That opens the way for new — and some say costly — regulations.

Under one possible plan called cap-and-trade, companies would get allotments for carbon dioxide emissions, and they could buy and sell those rights.

In a conversation with NPR's Michele Norris, Jackson dismissed critics who say the cost of reducing greenhouse gases is too high.

"You can indeed build an economy around a move toward clean energy," Jackson says.

Jackson says that the country is "overdue" for climate and energy legislation. And she is optimistic Congress will help pass new environmental laws.

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