Feb. 5, 2018
Kathleen Hartnett White Withdrawn From Consideration as Trump’s Environmental Advisor
Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office
Note: Kathleen Hartnett White, former commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and fellow at the Koch brothers-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation, has withdrawn her name from consideration as the chair of President Donald Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality. The announcement follows a disastrous U.S. Senate confirmation hearing and controversial revelations about her role as an environmental regulator in Texas.
Even a Republican-controlled Senate was unlikely to confirm the controversial nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White for Trump’s top environmental adviser. Ms. White doubted the science of climate change and demonstrated her ignorance of its effects on the planet during her Senate hearing. She has asserted that carbon dioxide is good for you and that fossil fuels led to the end of slavery.
During her tenure in Texas, Ms. White misrepresented scientific data about radiation contamination in drinking water. She zealously approved polluter permits throughout Texas, showing little or no concern for public health consequences. From the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, she took a position with the far-right Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think tank whose funders include the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, State Farm Insurance and RJ Reynolds Tobacco.
Ms. White’s record is not one to be repeated again, anywhere. Trump is in dire need of competent environmental advisers to steer his policies away from big breaks to industry and toward health and safety protections for Americans.