Trump’s Environment Pick Criticized

Trump’s Environment Pick Criticized Trump’s Environment Pick Criticized

Green groups on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump for choosing a nominee for White House environmental panel who wrote in an opinion article last year that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

The White House said on Thursday that Trump had nominated Kathleen Hartnett White, who served as Texas’s top environmental regulator, to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The council sets the administration’s environmental policy goals, Reuters reported.

White has questioned the notion that burning fossil fuels is causing harmful increases in global temperatures.

In a 2014 policy paper titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case," White praised the burning of coal and petroleum for "vastly improved living conditions across the world" and credited fossil fuels with ending slavery.

"Carbon dioxide is an odorless, invisible, harmless and completely natural gas lacking any characteristic of a pollutant."

Environmental groups and Democrats quickly criticized White's pending nomination, which will require confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Christy Goldfuss, who chaired the Council on Environmental Quality under former president, Barack Obama, said White's alliance with the fossil fuel industry "makes her unfit to hold the highest environmental post in the government to advise the president on the real moral threat to our county: climate change."

Ken Cook, the president of Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, said on Friday that assertion indicated that White would facilitate “the rampant looting of environmental and public health protection policies”, according to a press release.

The Sierra Club environmental group called White “a fossil fuel industry apologist” in a press release on Friday.

White did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An overwhelming majority of scientists think carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a major contributor to global climate change, triggering sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

White is not the first person Trump has picked to join his administration who rejects this scientific consensus. In March, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he did not believe carbon dioxide was a major contributor to global warming.


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