New Trump Enviro Nominee: Dumber Than DeVos

November 9, 2017

“..I do not have any kind of expertise or even much layman’s study..”Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump nominee for Director of Council of Environmental Quality


Human vs Natural causes for observed modern climate change. From the recently released US Global Change Research Program special report on Climate Change

So, is ignorance a prerequisite for a Trump appointment, or merely a bonus?

Ms White, during confirmation hearings expressed an apparent belief in a parallel universe, right along side our own, where there could be a different “right answer” to how much greenhouse-gas trapped heat the oceans absorb.
It’s challenging to maintain a charitable position in the face of increasing volumes of  proof that climate deniers are incapable of feeling basic human emotions, like shame.

Heads up, if anyone can find the original cspan video on this, please point me to it.

Washington Post:

Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump’s pick to serve as his top White House environmental official, told the Senate Wednesday that she had doubts about the link between human activity and climate change.

“I’m not a scientist, but in my personal capacity, I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy,” Hartnett White, Trump’s nominee to lead the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, told senators Wednesday at her confirmation hearing. “I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role.”

She did acknowledge that there was probably some human contribution, “the extent to which I think is very uncertain.” That contradicts leading scientific assessments on the matter, which have pinned climate change largely on human greenhouse gas emissions.


Hartnett White, the former head of the Texas Council on Environmental Quality and currently a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has long written critically about the science of climate change and about domestic and international attempts to take action on emissions.

That wasn’t her only stance that drew Democratic ire.

Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, asked Hartnett White about her views regarding fine particulate matter, a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion that can cause or exacerbate deadly respiratory diseases. Booker argued such pollution is a national crisis, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas where such pollution is often concentrated.

“When the bulk of the country attains the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter, that to me is confusing if there is a crisis,” Hartnett White countered.

Texas Observer:

At one point, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, held up a chart from a recent climate report published by the Trump administration finding that there is “no alternative explanation” for climate change other than humans. The chart showed the contribution of humans, solar flares and volcanic activity to climate change, and Merkley asked White whether she accepted the results.

The report, White said, is a “product of the past administration, not this one” and that “there’s incredible difference of opinion among climate scientists.”

“Your positions are so far out of the mainstream, they’re not just outliers they’re outrageous,” said Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat.  “You have a fringe voice that denies science and economics and reality.”


Kathleen Hartnett White is the distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). Hartnett White previously worked as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Prior to 2001, she served as then-Governor George W. Bush’s appointee to the Texas Water Development Board, where she sat until appointed to TCEQ. [1]

Kathleen Hartnett White a director of the TPPF‘s Fueling Freedom project, which seeks to “Explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels” while “building a multi-state coalition to push back against the EPA‘s unconstitutional efforts to take over the electric power sector by regulating CO2 via the Clean Power Plan.” The Fueling Freedom project also seeks to”End the regulation of CO2 as a pollutant.” She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the CO2 Coalition, formerly known as the George C. Marshall Institute, a group that maintains that increased CO2 is beneficial for life on Earth. [4], [5][6], [7]

In October 2017, Trump tapped Hartnett White to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), pending confirmation. She was also a member of Trump’s ”economic advisory team” in 2016. [51][12]

Hartnett White has also held positions as the Director of Private Lands and the Environment for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington, D.C. She has served as director of the Ranching Heritage Association. Notably, NCBAopposed the EPA‘s endangerment finding rule in 2010. She was a special assistant in the White House Office of the First Lady Nancy Reagan. [1], [8]

Kathleen Hartnett White is co-author, with Stephen Moore, of Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy where she argues against the shift to renewable energy. According to a review of the book in American Thinker, “Rather than worrying that carbon energy resources are destroying the planet and looking to renewable energy as an alternative, the authors suggest we should celebrate the vast contributions fossil fuels made during the past century.” Rolling Stone described Fueling Freedom as “a hymnal to all things fossil fuels, the dirty-energy, non-satirical equivalent of Thank You for Smoking.” [1], [9][10]

TheTexas Observer found that the TPPF has been funded by ExxonMobil, Chevron, the Koch network, RJ Reynolds, the Heartland Institute, and others among what they describe as the “Who’s Who of Texas polluters. “ [11]


6 Responses to “New Trump Enviro Nominee: Dumber Than DeVos”

    • Magma Says:

      By now you really shouldn’t be. The combination of Trump and the Republican Party manages to fall below even the lowest of expectations almost every time.

  1. Lionel Smith Says:

    Hartnett Wight another candidate for the Wendy Wright Club.

    Good on Whitehouse and Markey, keep her feet to the fire.

  2. ubrew12 Says:

    “Hartnett White a director of the TPPF‘s Fueling Freedom project, which seeks to ‘Explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels’ ”

    Don’t explain it to us, explain it to Hurricane Harvey. “Hey, Harvey, could you hang around awhile over Houston while we explain the morality of fossil freedom fuels?”

  3. I hope that when she’s seen in public, people point and laugh without trying to be polite.

  4. livinginabox Says:

    Just when I thought the bar could not possibly be set any lower the level of nincompoopery displayed by Trump appointments, shows me that I was wrong, very wrong.

    How could anyone, who admits “..,I do not have any kind of expertise or even much layman’s study..,”, accept such an important and position that requires technical expertese? (I am assuming the appointee to be a patriot and have the USA’s best interests at heart).

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