Controversial Nomination Withdrawn By White House


Madison Olinger
Contributing Writer

On Feb. 2, the White House withdrew the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to head the Council of Environmental Quality.

White, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has long been the subject of criticism for her beliefs on environmental issues.

Known for questioning existing scientific findings on climate change, White has a history of controversial comments that have drawn criticism from both sides of the political aisle and numerous esteemed scientists.

CNN’s KFile reported that in September 2016, White was interviewed by an online conservative radio show in which she referred to the belief in global warming as a “kind of paganism,” which is only one of the many times her beliefs have garnered negative reactions.

In 2016, White wrote an article for The Hill and contested the commonly held understanding of carbon dioxide as a pollutant, which National Geographic cites as the main greenhouse gas responsible for warming earth trends.

“Carbon dioxide is an odorless, invisible, harmless and completely natural gas lacking any characteristic as a pollutant,” White wrote, which immediately sent ripples of anger through the scientific community.

Over 300 scientists reacted to White’s claims in the form of a written address to Congress opposing her nomination. “As scientists and scholars, we are alarmed by Ms. Hartnett White’s actions and statements,” the letter read.

The news of White’s withdrawal was not a shock to Washington. After a clear presence of bipartisan concern during her confirmation hearing last November, it became clear she may not have ever had the support needed to be confirmed.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) told White that she worried about her “extremist views,” and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) described her positions as “not just outliers” but “outrageous.”

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Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said “Withdrawing Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination is the right thing to do,” in a statement released following the news of her withdrawal last week.

Peter Hansen, a senior studying sustainability, agrees with those praising the Trump administration for this decision.

“I don’t agree with much of what the current administration believes, but simply ignoring science and promoting someone who can’t back up her statements with facts is a dangerous game to play,” Hansen said. “Science wins this round, and hopefully all rounds to come.”

Photo Taken From Wikipedia Commons.