Oct. 13, 2017

Texas Anti-Climate Leader Is Wrong Pick for U.S. Environmental Council

Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

Note: Kathleen Hartnett White, former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Public Policy Foundation fellow, today was announced as the chair of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Council on Environmental Quality.

Kathleen Hartnett White was a disaster as the chair of the TCEQ. She voted for almost every industry supported project, ignored or denied pollution’s impact on the public, failed to reduce ozone emissions to safe levels, supported new coal plants that would have worsened pollution in our most polluted cities, failed to clean up or shut down the cement kilns that were the largest source of pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and ignored global warming. She actively sought to restrict citizens’ rights to intervene and provide critical local insight into permits.

She also served as a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a who’s who of polluters that is supported by the Koch brothers. She has attempted to make “the moral case for fossil fuels” (PDF) by chastising anyone who would dare to criticize the fossil fuel industry and reminding us that the Industrial Revolution was a good thing.

Texas is not a model of environmental protection. The state has ignored or denied climate change even as we have been devastated by its impacts. Texas should serve as a cautionary tale to the nation. Kathleen Hartnett White is the wrong pick to advise anyone on environmental matters.