President Donald Trump has nominated another Texan politician to serve under his administration. On Oct. 12, Trump chose Kathleen Hartnett White to chair the Council on Environmental Quality, a chief position in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She previously served as an environmental regulator under former Gov. Rick Perry. Perry now serves as Secretary of Energy under the Trump administration.
Hartnett White seems to fit right in with the Trump camp. Her past work reveals that she is a consistent climate change denier, totally against clean energy, and a spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry.
Hartnett White was once a Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), a conservative think tank based in Austin. She believes that manmade carbon dioxide poses no threat to our planet’s climate, and openly questions the mainstream science community. She believes that carbon dioxide is beneficial to Earth’s atmosphere and that fossil fuels are actually good for our environment. She also sees environmental regulation as government overreach.
“Satellites already show a greening of the Earth — in part from the very small amount of carbon dioxide involved with using fossil fuels,” said Hartnett White in a video for TPPF.
TPPF claims to be a non-partisan think tank, but many of its donors are fossil fuel companies, conservative organizations, and other major corporations. The Koch Brothers, Chevron, and ExxonMobil are just a few of the organizations that line TPPF’s pockets.
Trump’s move to nominate Hartnett White shouldn’t come as a surprise. She was previously a rumored pick to head the EPA, and her policy on environmental deregulation seems to fit the current administration’s views.
Trump eventually nominated Scott Pruitt to run the EPA. Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma’s attorney general and has ties to the oil and gas industry. During his tenure, he sued the EPA 14 times in order to block Obama-era environmental regulations that included rules on clean water and clean air. Pruitt hopes to downsize the agency and plans to abolish the rules that he fought as Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Hartnett White will easily transition into Trump and Pruitt’s EPA. She once wrote an op-ed for The Hill titled “Obama’s Deluded and Illegitimate Battle Against Climate Change” and has called renewable energy “unreliable and parasitic.”
Despite her past in climate change denial, Hartnett White’s nomination is expected to make it through the Senate. Conservative lawmakers are already voicing their support for her and many believe she is a prime choice for the position. Trump is dead set on abolishing Obama’s environmental regulations, and Hartnett White’s nomination is another step in that direction.