Senators from both parties on Wednesday criticized Kathleen Hartnett White, a key environmental nominee from President Trump, using her past statements on climate change and fuel policy to raise concerns about her nomination.
(From The Hill/ by Devin Henry) — Hartnett White, a think tank official and former Texas environmental regulator, is an outspoken climate change skeptic and has raised questions about the science behind not just carbon emissions but also other greenhouse gases and pollutants.
At a hearing with Hartnett White, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee cited statements she had made on science and climate regulations to make the case against her nomination to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
The board, which Hartnett White is nominated to lead as chair, advises the president on environmental issues and coordinates federal environment reviews and initiatives.
Hartnett White, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said, “has shown that she is not only a science denier, but actively promotes misinformation on climate, ozone, mercury, particulate matter and other known health hazards that impact our air and waterways.”
Carper noted that she had equated belief in climate change to “paganism” and highlighted her comment that ozone, a pollutant with ties to health problems, is not harmful unless “you put your mouth over the tailpipe of a car for eight hours every day.”
She defended her views on science at the hearing, even those that go against scientific observations. At one point she said carbon dioxide emissions have not gone up “drastically,” a statement at odds with the data collected by climate scientists.
“Your positions are so far out of the mainstream [that] they’re not just outliers, they’re outrageous,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). “You are a fringe voice that denies science and economics and reality.”
Hartnett White said “there may be some mistakes” in some of her past statements, but that some of the quotations used against her were “out of context.”
She said climate change is real but said more research is needed into its causes.
“It’s likely that C02 emissions from human activity have some influence on the climate but not to the extent” some scientists have said, she said.
“We need a more precise explanation of the human contribution,” she said.
Hartnett White defended her nomination by highlighting her time as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (CEQ)…
Read the full article here: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/359402-senators-tear-into-controversial-trump-environment-nominee