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WaPo: White House withdrawing nominee to lead Council on Environmental Quality

05 February 2018

A climate-change skeptic won't become President Trump's chief environmental aide after her nomination toiled in the Senate for months.

Hartnett-White, a former Texas regulator, eked through the confirmation process a year ago with only Republican votes despite radical views on issues like climate change and a humiliating public hearing at which she struggled with basic science questions.

The Washington Post first reported late on Saturday on the plans to withdraw Ms White's nomination, citing two unnamed administration officials who had been briefed on the matter.

She was also a critic of the Obama administration's environmental initiatives, calling them a "deluded and illegitimate battle against climate change" in an op-ed for The Hill previous year and arguing against regulations like the Clean Power Plan rule for power plants.

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The most up-to-date scientific assessment on climate change, released by the Trump administration in November, found that the world's oceans have absorbed "about 93 percent of the excess heat caused by greenhouse gas warming since the mid-20th century, making them warmer and altering global and regional climate feedbacks".

H/T: Read the full NPR article. "Our flesh, blood and bones are built of carbon", she wrote in 2016. Democrats were particularly incensed by her renomination.

The Council on Environmental Quality is a White House office that coordinates environmental policy among several federal agencies. "That's what we want for the nation. And she shows that prosperity and clean air can go hand in hand".

Withdrawing White's name may clear the way for Senate consideration of other environmental nominees. Critics said Dourson had too many conflicts of interest to be considered for an Environmental Protection Agency post in which he might oversee reviews of chemicals produced by companies he once represented. "Hartnett-White was all three - a trifecta", said Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Kathleen Hartnett White was announced last October as Trump's choice to chair the Council on Environmental Quality.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper of DE, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement Saturday evening that it was "abundantly clear very early on that heading up the Council on Environmental Quality wasn't the right job for Ms. White".

Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, who has praised Hartnett White as having "broad" experience in environmental issues, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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WaPo: White House withdrawing nominee to lead Council on Environmental Quality