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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

From EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, President Trump has filled his administration with a rogue’s gallery of fossil fuel-loving climate deniers. Now he’s set to sign up another: Kathleen Hartnett White.

Last week, Trump nominated Hartnett White, a longtime critic of climate change policy, to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the administration on environmental policy. If she is confirmed by the Senate, America will have yet another fox in charge of the henhouse, putting the global environment further at risk.

On Thursday, CNN reported on some particularly incredible remarks she made last year during an interview on a conservative online talk show. Hartnett White claimed that environmental leaders were using climate policy “to undermine the system of economic growth and industrialization.”

She added, “There’s a real dark side of the kind of paganism—the secular elites’ religion now being, evidently, global warming.”

Listen:

A staunch supporter of the fossil fuel industry who served as a Texas environmental regulator, Hartnett White is currently on the staff at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that fights environmental regulations and clean energy policy.

While at the TPPF, she was tasked to “explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels,” arguing that carbon dioxide “makes life possible on the earth and naturally fertilizes plant growth.”

“Whether emitted from the human use of fossil fuels or as a natural (and necessary) gas in the atmosphere surrounding the earth, carbon dioxide has none of the attributes of a pollutant,” she wrote in a 2014 paper, in which she argued that “global warming alarmists are misleading the public about carbon dioxide emissions.”

In a tweet, Earthjustice called on followers not to let the “frack first, ask questions later” climate denier “undermine science.”

Reynard Loki is AlterNet’s environment, food and animal rights editor. Follow him on Twitter @reynardloki. Email him at reynard@alternet.org.