- The White House is withdrawing the nomination of a controversial climate-change skeptic to a top environmental post.
- Kathleen Hartnett White has been heavily criticized for her statements in the past, defending the fossil fuel industry and praising carbon dioxide emissions.
The White House is confirming plans to withdraw the nomination of a climate change skeptic to serve as President Donald Trump’s top environmental adviser.
Kathleen Hartnett White was announced last October as Trump’s choice to chair the Council on Environmental Quality.
But White’s nomination languished and was among a batch of nominations the Senate sent back to the White House when it adjourned at the end of 2017.
Trump would have had to resubmit White’s nomination.
White’s nomination drew intense backlash from the scientific community, as she is known for vehemently defending the fossil fuel industry and carbon dioxide emissions.
“Our flesh, blood, and bones are built of carbon,” she once wrote in 2016. “Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas of life on this planet, an essential nutrient for plant growth on which human life depends.”
The Washington Post first reported late Saturday on the plans to pull White’s nomination, citing two unnamed administration officials who had been briefed on the matter.
A White House official later confirmed the Post report. The official was not authorized to discuss personnel decisions by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
After news broke of White’s withdrawal on Saturday, her critics appeared relieved.
“Awhile ago, I wrote that many Trump appointees to science-based positions could be considered to either have deep conflicts of interest, to be fundamentally opposed to the mission of the agency they were to lead or totally unqualified,” Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Post. “Hartnett-White was all three – a trifecta.”