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Sunday, September 6, 2009


WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama's special adviser for green jobs, VAN JONES, has resigned under pressure from leading Republican politicians and revelations about his controversial past statements.

VAN JONES, a former civil rights activist from California, had been working for the White House Council on Environmental Quality since March. "I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today," VAN JONES said in a statement released by the White House Saturday. VAN JONES went on to say that on the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, "opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign" against him and that he had essentially become a distraction for the Obama administration. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide," he continued. "But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future."

Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley issued a statement saying she accepted VAN JONES' resignation. "Over the last six months he has been a strong voice for creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources. We appreciate his hard work and wish him the best moving forward," Sutley said.

VAN JONES became the focus of public attention last week when it was revealed he had signed a petition that questioned whether officials in the administration of former president George W. Bush may have allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war. It was also revealed that VAN JONES used a crude term to describe Republicans in a speech he gave before joining the administration, the newspaper said.

Several prominent Republicans had demanded action against VAN JONES.

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