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Climate Kook Is Trump’s Choice For Top Environmental Post

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Climate Kook Is Trump’s Choice For Top Environmental Post


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.”


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.




  1. Dominick Vila October 21, 2017

    Trump is appointing zealots to head environmental posts to promote economic growth at the expense of something he, and sadly, millions of Americans, are indifferent to. The truth is that our society is consumed by materialism and greed, and is indifferent to the global changes that augur a calamity of a magnitude similar to what took place during the Ice Age. For that crowd, having enough money for an Alaska cruise or to buy a $400 cell phone for junior is far more important than saving the planet. It is hard to believe that the country that led the fight to mitigate the effects of global warming is now the one championing the causes for carbon emissions, while China and India, two major polluters, are actively engaged in transitioning to electric cars, and solar and wind energy. While the rest of the world focuses on life on Earth decades ahead, we are focused on an extra buck to buy material things we often don’t need when we get the next paycheck.

    1. Dapper Dan October 21, 2017

      I read where the EPA has scrubbed their website clean of any mention of climate change. This administration is in denial about the dangers we’re facing. Witness the horrific hurricanes and wildfires these past few months. We have at least 6 FEMA disasters now topping $1B dollars. Then they not only want to deny the science and evidence of climate change but with so called tax reform debates coming up it would add over $1Trillion dollars to our debt if republicans get their way. Who again is the fiscally responsible party ?

      1. Eleanore Whitaker October 21, 2017

        So now the EPA has the right under Pruitt to dumb down what we have every right to know?

        My hope is that Trump Tower on 5th Avenue floats out into the Atlantic. Coastal states have seen massive increases in flooding in just the past 2 decades.

        This is why it’s my firm belief that the only remaining protection we have is to cut off ALL federal funding.

        Since all federal revenues must first go through state treasuries anyway, why bother to pay for things that only flush to Republican states and then force us all to pay higher taxes? Why allow our states to contribute to FEMA when it was Rand Paul and Cornballs who were most vocal about giving northeastern states hit by SuperStorm Sandy FEMA money WE paid for? It was only through President Obama that NJ was able to get ANY FEMA money.

        Time to start allowing all of those federal dollars to mount up in Dem state treasuries where it pile up and actually be used for SS, Medicare, Medicaid, infrastructure, education and a multitude of other programs we pay for and ends up in Republican states.

        Not to mention by cutting off those federal funds, the Republican states will get what they asked for…”states” paying for state needs out of state funds. Why the hell pay any federal taxes if states have to cough up all of the costs federal tax dollars are supposed to pay for?

        1. Dapper Dan October 21, 2017

          And here in Washington State we’re the home of Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nordstroms and Boeing to name just a few global businesses. We have the worlds 2 richest men with Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos who weren’t born into wealth like the Dumpster. When times get tough and if it’s each state on their own we’ll be just fine here. It’s Southern States that are going to feel the pain when Federal dollars dry up. And if there are any trump properties that will get destroyed due to climate change that has to be Mar A Lago in Palm Beach. Florida is one state along with Louisiana that’s not going to do well with more hurricanes and floods in the future

          1. Dominick Vila October 22, 2017

            …and the devastating effects of dumping herbicides and other chemicals in our rivers, lakes, and the sea. If the trend continues, parts of Louisiana may become inhabitable.

        2. dpaano October 21, 2017

          Good point…if California didn’t have to pay so much federal taxes, we could start our own country and he’ll with the feds.

        3. Independent1 October 21, 2017

          On top of The Donald stacking our government with fossil fuel loving global warming deniers, under the covers of other issues he’s manufactured, Trump has inserted himself into the interviewing process of candidates for the selection of U.S Attorneys for New York and D.C. – I believe for the 1st time in history that a president has been involved in the interviewing process; and some folks like Sen. Blumenthal aren’t keen on what’s going on.

          Not only is Trump stacking our government with unqualified people to run virtually every part of it, he’s now working to stack the judicial system with judges who he may be able to manipulate in ruling on litigation that will soon be coming his way.

          See this from Mother Jones:

          Here’s Why Trump Interviewing US Attorney Candidates Is Even Worse Than it Seems

          The summary paragraph: On Wednesday, at a Senate judiciary committee hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about Trump personally vetting U.S. attorney candidates. Sessions defended Trump’s right to do so. Afterward, Blumenthal told Mother Jones that Trump’s involvement is alarming. “The firing of Preet Bharara smacks of political interference and the interviewing of his successor simply adds to that impression and it impugns the integrity of the Department of Justice,” he said. “I think the public is owed an explanation for why this unprecedented procedure has been adopted.”


  2. Eleanore Whitaker October 21, 2017

    One of the most revealing bits of evidence about Pruitt and these kooks is an article written by Eric Lipton in the NY Times back in 2014. The article alludes to the connection between Pruitt, Devon Energy and several appointments Trump is making that he knows will cost Dem states more to protect our states’ rights to clean air, water and soil. Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/politics/energy-firms-in-secretive-alliance-with-attorneys-general.html

    Thousands of dollars were handed to Pruitt back in the early 2000s. At one point, Pruitt appeared at a meeting of energy lobbyists that Eric Lipton also attended. The reporter said he was stunned by how much money was being handed to Pruitt to stop all counter measures to Obama’s Clean Energy initiatives.

    In one case, Lipton interviewed one of the good ole boys and asked him pointedly if he thought it was right that lobbyists were paying then OK AG Pruitt to counter Clean Energy initiatives. This Florida hick’s response? “Well, the Sierra Club does it. ”

    Yes. The Sierra Club does with money we all donate to keep our children from massive pollution in the US caused by hick states who refuse to face the reality that

    Pruitt was later heard to say, “Obama is trying to kill the fossil fuel industry.” Duh. Why not? Why should Dem states have to pay more to keep hick state pollution from killing us?

    These morons just don’t get it. Trump Tower on 5th Avenue will NOT EVER convert backward to using coal for heating or cooling. And NY State is now a leader in fighting the kind of fossil fuel pollution these idiots seem addicted to.

    But, the kicker is this. Nothing TRUMP does can violate states rights. So, now we pull the same trick on the hick states they’ve been pulling on us…states’ rights to exceed pollution regulations, lawsuits if their pollution crosses state lines and sticking it to them until their fossil fuel industry is DOA.

  3. Richard Prescott October 21, 2017

    The simplest counter argument to this brain dead woman’s claims it to show the historic before and after pictures of Los Angeles, the mountains east of San Francisco, Pittsburgh and other cities around the USA.
    And even worse set of pictures would be from Mexico City, weekdays vs weekends, as viewed from one of the hotels, The Chapultapec.
    I personally have seen those mountains east of San Francisco back in the 80s, Los Angeles in the 80s where women complained about their nylon hose melting off their legs. I grew up near Pittsburgh back in the 40s through early 60s. I have visited Mexico City in the 80s.
    I saw the Allegheny River where at one point the most prevalent “fish” were the used condoms floating in the river.
    I have seen the gross evidence of pollution all over the USA.
    And all of it contributed to the problems we face today. To remove the controls that help keep our air and water clean is criminally inexcusable.
    So on top of it, madam appointee, are you willing to allow the country to get ruined by your short sighted paid for by polluters ideas for your kids and grand kids?

  4. dpaano October 21, 2017

    The swamp just keeps getting deeper and deeper!


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