White House pulls environmental advisor nominee who doubted climate change

A climate-change skeptic won’t become President Trump’s chief environmental aide after her nomination toiled in the Senate for months.

The White House decided to drop Kathleen Hartnett White as its pick to chair the Council on Environmental Quality.

Several news outlets confirmed late Saturday that White’s nomination was pulled.

She was put forward in October to chair the council, which ensures agencies abide by the National Environmental Policy Act.

But White’s nomination was marred by her comments on climate change and alleged ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Previously, she spent six years on the commission running Texas’ environmental department under then-Gov. Rick Perry, now the energy secretary.

White, who isn’t a scientist by trade, said at a 2011 forum that “there is no environmental crisis — in fact, there’s almost no major environmental problems” in the U.S.

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U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Vice President Mike Pence clap as President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump refers to amounts of temperature change as he announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon walks out after President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump points as he walks back to the Oval Office after speaking about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump speaks about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 1: President Donald Trump points out after speaking about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 01, 2017. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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She’d also said renewable forms of energy are “a false hope that simply won’t work” and called scientists’ climate findings “the dogmatic claims of ideologues and clerics.”

Critics also pounced on her comments that using fossil fuels had “vastly improved living conditions across the world.”

White also worked at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a right-leaning think tank where she was a senior fellow.

The organization was financially backed by petroleum companies including Chevron and ExxonMobil.

The Senate sent her nomination back to the White House — along with several others’ — at the end of last year. But the Trump administration put her name forward again last month.

White was one of several nominees and officials within the administration who’ve been accused of being cozy with the fossil fuel industry, including Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

With News Wire Services

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