A Senate committee approved Kathleen Hartnett White, a climate change skeptic and former chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, for a top environmental post Wednesday.
(From Dallas News/ By Nicole Cobler) — Voting along party lines, the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee approved White to head the Council on Environmental Quality. Her nomination must be approved by the full Senate before she is confirmed.
White was appointed to a six-year term at the TCEQ by Gov. Rick Perry in 2001 and was previously considered to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
She now works as a fellow for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Austin. In papers for the foundation, White has questioned human-fueled climate change, claimed that carbon dioxideisn’t a pollutant, and called the federal Endangered Species Act “antiquated.”
Democrats on the Senate committee denounced her nomination by President Donald Trump before votes were cast.
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse pointed to her previous writings and statements on carbon pollution and climate change as grounds to reject her nomination.
“A nominee who can’t follow the thread from carbon pollution to ocean warming to sea level rise — who imagines science that is not there and ignores science that is there — is a preposterous nominee,” Whitehouse told the committee.
And Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley wasn’t impressed with White’s responses to his written questions, despite her promise to ensure that regulatory actions were made “based on the most up-to-date” scientific data.
“She made this promise directly after casting doubt on the overwhelming scientific consensus that human greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate disruption,” Merkley said, adding that it seems “unreal” that the committee is considering her for the position.
White’s comments have also concerned environmental advocates, who sounded the alarm over her nomination to head the federal office that coordinates among agencies. Before her confirmation hearing Nov. 8, nearly 50 groups signed a letter urging…