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EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson was on The Daily Show last night to talk about the politics surrounding her agency, at one point calling Washington D.C. a “fact-free zone” that is out of touch with Americans.

Some highlights:

On opposition to mercury regulations for power plants: “The only thing we hear is ‘it can’t be done,’ when everything we know and every model that we run shows that it absolutely can be done, and that it would actually create jobs. Someone has to build all those scrubbers and filters that deal with mercury.”

On being hauled before Congress: “I have testified more times in this Congress than any other cabinet member. I don’t mind going up there. … You should know that your Congress put more riders on the EPA than any other agency.”

On inside-the-Beltway politics: “I sometimes call it the ‘fact-free zone.’ Outside Washington, 95 percent of the American people … see one of the roles of government as protecting their air and water. … And yet time and time again, we’re having to go onto the Hill, oftentimes with people who privately tell me, ‘hey, I’m for the environment,’ and then they say ‘but…’ and the ‘but’ is a set of talking points from industry.”

The full interview is posted below in two parts (part 1 is what ran on the air):

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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