The federal Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) responsible for developing and recommending “national policies to the President that promote the improvement of environmental quality and meet the Nation’s goals.” According to the White House website:
Congress enacted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to “declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.”
On August 15, 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13807 on Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure. The purpose?
America needs increased infrastructure investment to strengthen our economy, enhance our competitiveness in world trade, create jobs and increase wages for our workers, and reduce the costs of goods and services for our families…Inefficiencies in current infrastructure project decisions, including management of environmental reviews and permit decisions or authorizations, have delayed infrastructure investments, increased project costs, and blocked the American people from enjoying improved infrastructure that would benefit our economy, society, and environment. More efficient and effective Federal infrastructure decisions can transform our economy, so the Federal Government, as a whole, must change the way it processes environmental reviews and authorization decisions.
Read: fast-track infrastructure projects and don’t worry about NEPA or the Clean Power Plan.
In this case, Kathleen Hartnett White is the perfect climate science denier for the job.
President Trump has nominated White to be his top environmental advisor. It’s Hot Out strongly opposes White’s nomination.
Last Wednesday the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the nomination. By now you’ve probably seen coverage of White’s stammered responses to questions on widely understood and agreed upon principles of climate change. ICYMI the full hearing can be viewed here. Below is a brief video with some highlights.
While her rhetoric at the hearing was extremely troubling, possibly more concerning is her record on the issue of climate change. White is Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at Texas Public Policy Foundation, a “non-profit, non-partisan research institute.” The Texas Observer found that TPPF is funded by corporations like Exxon, Chevron and Koch Industries. A few weeks back we covered Koch Industries, a multi-billion dollar energy conglomerate in the business of refining, chemicals, biofuels, forest and consumer products, fertilizers, etc. They back the Cato Institute and it comes as no surprise they also back TPPF.
White co-authored a book called Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy that was published in May of 2016. If you think it sounds similar to Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels discussed last week, you’re right. Here’s an actual quote from the prologue:
“Thanks to the shale oil and gas revolution, America will never run out of energy. We have hundreds of years’ worth of oil, natural gas, and coal–with existing technologies.
Never is a very strong word. It seems White is no stranger to strongly worded argument against the EPA and clean energy. Articles like “Signing the Paris Agreement is the worst way to celebrate Earth Day,” “Renewables are incapable of replacing hydrocarbon at scale,” “Stay the course and halt the clock on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan” and “Restrain the imperial EPA” published to The Hill website spread rampant untruths. Here’s an excerpt from the latter:
Carbon dioxide is an odorless, invisible, harmless and completely natural gas lacking any characteristic of a pollutant. It doesn’t contaminate or defile the air, as actual pollutants do. Ambient levels of carbon dioxide in the air we breathe have zero adverse health effects, in contrast to high levels of genuine pollutants listed in the Clean Air Act like lead and mercury.
Misinformation and falsehoods like this have absolutely no place in our government, especially the CEQ. We need officials who will fight for clean and sustainable energy! Kathleen Hartnett White will undoubtedly do the exact opposite. Contact your local Senator to express your opposition to the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White!