Nominee for White House Environment Czar, a Notorious Science Skeptic, Clears Committee

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s nominee to chair the Council on Environmental Quality was approved today in a party-line vote by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The nominee, Kathleen Hartnett-White, is a notorious science skeptic who admitted she knows little about climate change.

Hartnett-White’s nomination will now go before the full Senate for consideration.

The former head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a fellow at the industry-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation, Hartnett-White is a longtime climate change denier. In fact, she holds carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming, in high regard.

In a 2015 column published on the right-wing website, she wrote:

Our flesh, blood and bones are built of carbon. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas of life on this planet, an essential nutrient for plant growth on which human life depends . . . CO2 is an odorless, invisible, beneficial, and natural gas lacking any characteristics of a pollutant. CO2 in no way contaminates or defiles the air as genuine pollutants can. 

During her recent confirmation hearing before the Senate committee, Hartnett-White could not even answer the most fundamental questions about the science of climate change.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., asked for her thoughts about thermal expansion, specifically if she believes if the ocean warms as it expands.

Hartnett-White responded: "Again, I do not have any kind of expertise or even much layman study of the ocean dynamics and the climate change issues."

“The Senate has already approved far too many of the president’s nominees who are wildly unfit for the positions they’re serving,” said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook. “But confirming someone like Hartnett-White – who embraces such contemptible and uninformed views on climate change and environmental protection – to such an important job should be considered senatorial malpractice.”

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