. Industrial Ecology, Sustainable Engineering and the EPA Lisa Jackson was an excellent EPA administrator, and she remains a capable environmental professional. She pushed forward on climate change regulation under the Clean Air Act, brought about improved fuel efficiency standards and was an aggressive advocate for a clean environment. But the problem is that the EPAs approach to the environment is embedded in the environment-economic growth trade off. When the White House and the media (not to mention the House Republicans) think of the EPA, they think of it as the anti-growth, eat-your-spinach, dont use that plastic bag, Department of Things We Arent Allowed to Do. Of course everyone knows that toxic air, water and land must be avoided. And no one wants to end up with the orange air they often have in China these days. So, yes, we have to follow the rules even if they cost us jobs and wealth, because we have to eat our spinach if we want to grow up big and strong. The sustainability perspective turns all this on its head. The idea, based in part on an engineering field called industrial ecology, is to manufacture goods without emitting pollutantsthrough the use of closed systems that ensure that all resources end up in some form of production. Sustainability does not trade off environment and wealth, it is built on the premise that the environment is a major source of our wealth. Careful use of natural resources makes a company more efficient and more profitable. Wasting energy and water does not add to a companys profits, market share or return on equity. Walmart requires its vendors to demonstrate sustainability to keep costs down along with environmental impacts. When New York City plants a million trees, it reduces air pollution and global warming, but it also makes the city a more attractive place to live and lifts housing values and tax revenues. When HP collects your toner cartridge and re-manufactures it, it makes rather than loses money on the exchange. Much of New York Citys water is filtered by our ecosystem rather than a multi-billion dollar filtration plant. Obama to Nominate Gov. Gregoire as Head of EPA? According to the Seattle PI article: Gregoire has a mixed record on the environment as Washington governor. She can sound like John Muir in speeches to Western Washington audiences, and launched an ambitious Puget Sound cleanup effort early in her first term as governor. She was a leader in the Western Climate Initiative launched by western governors (including Republican Jon Huntsman of Utah) with backing from Canadian premiers. She has, however, been allied with shipping, agriculture and economic interests in the struggle over what the federal government will be required to do in restoring salmon runs to the Columbia River system. The author of the Seattle PI article says, "Gregoire has a mixed record on the environment as Washington governor.", IMO, Governor Gregoire strives to achieve Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering. .