President Trump Nominates Kathleen White to Environmental Quality Chair

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

President Trump has nominated a climate skeptic who credits the rise of fossil fuels for the end of slavery to head the Council on Environmental Quality.

Trump to nominate climate doubter as environmental adviser (Update)

October 13, 2017 by Michael Biesecker

President Donald Trump will nominate a climate change skeptic with ties to the fossil fuel industry to serve as a top environmental adviser.

The White House on Thursday announced the selection of Kathleen Hartnett White of Texas to serve as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. White served under former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now Trump’s energy secretary, for six years on a commission overseeing the state environmental agency.

White was fiercely critical of what she called the Obama administration’s “imperial EPA” and pushed back against stricter limits on air and water pollution. She is a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that has received funding from fossil-fuel companies that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron.

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.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune called White’s selection “outrageous.”

“The nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White is the nightmare scenario for anyone who wants clean air and clean water,” he said. “Her record makes clear she is completely ready and willing to sell out the health of our kids to corporate polluters.”

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-trump-climate-doubter-environmental.html

What can I say – anyone who upsets the Sierra Club that badly has got to be worth a go.

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72 thoughts on “President Trump Nominates Kathleen White to Environmental Quality Chair

  1. Well done. Not the end of alarmism, but a good sequel to the nomination of Scott Pruitt. I hope he’ll bring more and more positively thinking people into office.

    • I would have thought that their laughable appearance before the congressional committee was enough to show they are political and thus not entitiled to charitable status.

      Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune called White’s selection “outrageous.”

      I think the Sierra Club’s testimony was “outrageous.”

  2. In a world of pros and cons, how do they away with invalidating every large “pro” with any kind of “con?” By invoking the nonsensical use of “for health and for the kids.” It’s a tell that there arguments are otherwise entirely unpersuasive and one step removed from ad hominem irrelevance.

  3. If the bloated elitists at the Sierra Club are agin her, I’m afor her.

    Love to watch liberal heads explode with “OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGE”.

    Don’t it remind you of your 2 year old’s last temper tantrum?

    • Enviro-Marxist heads are exploding around the world. Their funding streams are narrowing, They fear the end is nigh, of free money from Uncle Sugar that is. This is a good sign that ties to “Big Government” might be identified and severed.

      • since the Sierra Club officially think that “the pause” refers to the post WWII cooling period I think it is fair to conclude that the don’t know squat about climate and can safely be ignored.

  4. This is a wonderful, textbook example of biased reporting.

    “President Donald Trump will nominate a climate change skeptic with ties to the fossil fuel industry to serve as a top environmental adviser.

    I have ties to the fossil fuel industry too – I regularly buy their products at my local gas station.

    “White was fiercely critical of what she called the Obama administration’s “imperial EPA” and pushed back against stricter limits on air and water pollution. She is a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that has received funding from fossil-fuel companies that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron.”

    Having established, via a drive-by smear in the first paragraph that the fossil fuel industry is something evil and shameful, the third paragraph then goes to reinforce the smear that the Texas think tank she is associated with is – gasp – receiving funding from that same evil industry. Not only that, she is apparently against stricter limits on air and water pollution.

    I’m in favour of stricter limits too – people shouldn’t be allowed to breathe without a government permit, think of all that polluting carbon dioxide they’re releasing!

    Do journalism schools teach this sort of thing nowadays, or does it just come naturally?

    • “Do journalism schools teach this sort of thing nowadays, or does it just come naturally?”

      This is a question you can not answer so easily. There are certain rules in journalism and psychology that make the contemptuous and the attack on the private environment is the means of choice to discretize a human being. However, one must also be a bad natural talent to turn then into the action. Not every journalist thinks and writes so. Goebels, for example, could have been such a natural talent without any journalism school.

      • Unfortunately yes, I recall a recruiting piece for the Medill School of Journalism, at Northwestern, that talked more about becoming an “agent for change,” and less about learning to do research and reporting.

      • I read an interview with a young reporter who said that it was her job to tell people what to think!

    • Roger, the story line does seem basic doctrine for media reports re global warming/climate change. Another case in point is this week’s Frontline special on PBS, “War on the EPA.” The program rests on familiar premises:
      Supposition: EPA exists as a branch of the Environmental Movement.
      Supposition: Unbelievers are paid shills for energy capitalists.
      Supposition: EPA now pursues only industrial interests.

      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/pbs-goes-full-climatist/

    • It’s editorializing trying to pass itself off as factual reporting. There used to be a strict separation between the two, and once a “journalist” went over to the dark side they could never returned due to their abdication of objectivity.

    • Unfortunately, what mostly passes for journalism these days is just regurgitated leftist indoctrination.

  5. every time I read “climate doubter” I laugh………You would think with all the money they have….someone would have told them “don’t look so stupid”

  6. The nominee has clearly stated publicly (and correctly) that CO2 cannot be a pollutant according to the usual understanding of that word. If it were to qualify as a pollutant simply by being a “greenhouse gas” then water vapor is a much more serious pollutant and I want to see the EPA find a way to regulate that. Scratch that – the old guard in the EPA are stupid enough to try.

    • Andy Pattullo

      If it were to qualify as a pollutant simply by being a “greenhouse gas” then water vapor is a much more serious pollutant…

      Overlooks the criterion of atmospheric ‘residence time’ per molecule. Water vapour = a few days; C02 = decades to centuries.

      Hardly an insignificant oversight.

      • DWR54,

        you seriously saying that a trace CO2 gas in the atmosphere is a “pollutant” while the ocean waters and the rocks of the continents, which have a MUCH higher concentration of CO2 in it,is not a pollutant?

        C and CO2 are essential ingredients for the Photosynthesis process and a critical building block of all life forms,yet a trace gas is called by stupid ignorant warmists as a …. he he….ha ha ha…. a pollutant……..

        Residence time is IRRELEVANT to question of whether it is a pollutant!

      • What about missing carbon (dioxide)? Photosynthetic life is a negative feedback mechanism on atmospheric carbon dioxide ( and that dissolved in water).

        Missing carbon was a misnomer. The truth is the dynamics were unknown.

      • Before the industrial revolution, were carbon dioxide levels constant? Now, over half of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide is sequestered from the atmosphere. Give reality a chance on residence time.

      • DWR54,

        The residence time of any molecule CO2 in the atmosphere is only 5 years, but removing any extra CO2 above steady state takes 51 years e-fold decay or a half life time of ~30 years. NOt centuries, as that is based on the Bern model, including the saturation of the deep ocean sinks, for which is not the slightest evidence…

        The main problem for the climate models is their overblown warming: average 3ºC for 2xCO2, while it is theoretically 1ºC for 2xCO2 and in reality even less…

      • DW,

        You overlook the fact that water vapor is on the order of 100 times more plentiful in the air, on average.

      • Besides which, earth is currently starved of CO2 but not of water. Both are gases vital to life on this planet. The small increase in CO2 from 280 to 400 ppm has already greatly benefited plants and other living things. Doubling to 800 ppm would be better and tripling to 1200 ppm best of all. That would be ideal.

      • Yep – all 0.04% of those atmospheric molecules as compared to the 4.5% of an exhaled human breath – ponderous and whimsical science

      • And yet there is 2000 times as much water vapour as CO2 in the atmosphere at any given time…. rendering your evil CO2 meaningless.

      • Residence time has nothing to do with the overall greenhouse effect as measured. Water vapor is the big item here. It is not controversial.

      • A mass balance on the CO2 in the atmosphere shows that, on average over the past seven years, only about 53% of the human emissions of CO2 accumulated in the atmosphere, and the other 47% was removed by natural processes (photosynthesis, absorption by the oceans, etc.). If 47% of the emitted CO2 is removed per year, the “residence time” of CO2 in the atmosphere would be 1 / 0.47 = 2.13 years, not “decades to centuries”.

  7. Just saying as a “Climate Realist” and having the academic plus real world experience to back that up – Ms. White’s bona fides are a bit lacking. Having said that – if the Sierra Club is now in “Night of the Long Knives” mode – PDT is on to something here…

    • If the Sierra Club is justified in their outrage, over this nomination, they really shouldn’t be. Anyone having dealt with the TCEQ, in the oil/chemical industry, in the state of Texas, know full well they will have to pay large fines, if negligence is found. Sometimes just fined for good measure.

      One can be fined for starting up a plant or shutting it down for maintenance. Stuff happens. She is not snowflake.

  8. President Donald Trump will nominate a climate change skeptic with ties to the fossil fuel industry to serve as a top … [fill in advisor to your preferred agency]…

    Shock, horror! Not.

    • President barack hussein obama will noiminate a climate change promoter with ties to every known leftest communist marxist organization out there to serve as a top….oh wait, that was everyone he appointed

      suck it up buttercup…we have to pass it so we can see what’s in it

  9. Gosh, when will Trump make a politically correct choice? Hopefully never while the progressive socialists hold any of the cards.

  10. These environumnuts have no clue. They honestly seem to think that CO2 is poisoning our air and water.
    The stupid, it burns. Like napalm.

    • It’s what the AP style book recommends. “Climate contrarian” would have been more grammatically correct.

    • SM, slavery existed due to economics. The inventions of Cyrus Mc Cormick and John Deere would have destroyed the economics of slavery before the start of the twentieth century, and the country, would be infinitely better off today (that word is important. I am not saying those actually held in servitude until that time would have fared better) if they had been given the chance. She is entirely right that fossil fuels ended any reason for maintaining slavery.

      • (Well fossil fuels don’t write and pass amendments, nor Acts against the continuing problems of peonage in certain states. Also, slaves could have been used in mining, but California blocked it.)

        It ended animal servitude too! Norman Borlaug had a horse that would cut out of the field at lunch time, no matter if they were in the middle of a row or not. He said John Deere tractors never cut out at lunch.

        Now we have a few coal tar products that kill the pests, and a couple of litres of chemicals per acre that do work that people used to do.

        Malthusians will never forgive fossil fuels for that.

        And on 120 acre farm 40 acres grew hay and feed for the animals. So it freed more land for the small farmers.

        Malthusians will never forgive fossil fuels for that.

        There is nothing worse than making a scientific prediction and having it not come true. But it is never too late; you can always outlaw modern agriculture and fossil fuels. Then you can say your scientific paradigm was correct all along.

      • “I think it more correct to say that the invention of the steam engine ended slavery.”

        I am not sure. If we just had steam engines and ran them on non-fossil fuels, how would that work? Presumably, we would be cutting down trees or “growing” ethanol? Would that be sustainable?

        We might be left with similar questions to the ones we have now: “Will a wind turbine, during its lifetime, produce enough energy to manufacture its own replacement?” You need to include the mining, refining, transportation and installation energy usage as well as manufacturing, of course.

  11. Sierra Club’s Michael Brune shrieks:

    …. “outrageous. The nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White is the nightmare scenario for anyone who wants clean air and clean water,” he said. “Her record makes clear she is completely ready and willing to sell out the health of our kids to corporate polluters.”

    This is at best an immoral, though not likely legally actionable (it comes close, though, to libeling her….) misstatement of fact, i.e., asserting as fact what he knows he does not know the accuracy of. At worst, it is: a bold-faced lie.

    (Note: his use of “corporate polluters,” lol, shows what an ignoramus he is about the significance here (none) of doing business as a corporation (versus a partnership or sole proprietorship or other legal entity).

    What does Ms. White really say about pollution?

    In contrast to the genuine pollutants enumerated in the Clean Air Act, current CO2
    levels in the ambient atmosphere have no direct effects on human health. A remarkable number of highly educated people …. regard “carbon” or CO2 as a dirty harmful pollutant. They evidently conflate genuine
    pollutants
    such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and benzene and mercury, etc., emitted in uncontrolled combustion of fossil fuels with CO2. ****

    If not controlled, of course, the combustion of fossil fuels releases potentially harmful pollutants. Over the last 30 years, innovative emission control technologies have achieved enormous reductions of those pollutants. Although the EPA rarely acknowledges this environmental success, data on the Agency’s own website documents the remarkable environmental improvement. (See Table 3, next page). ****

    New power plants emit 90 percent less sulfur dioxide than plants built in the 1940s. ****

    (“Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case,” Kathleen Hartnett White, (2014) https://www.texaspolicy.com/library/doclib/Fossil-Fuels-The-Moral-Case.pdf )

    ********************************

    GO, DONALD TRUMP, GO! :)

  12. Sierra Club is just going to have to buckle down and work harder to keep their cash flow up .
    Time to create a new even scarier bogie person .
    How about donations to stop volcanos from exploding or to raise money for baby penguin
    parkas .
    Like Greenpeace the Sierra Club has gone full on corporate lobbyist . How would they ever qualify as a not for profit in the first place ? Even Suzuki got the message after the lobbying became too much to ignore .

  13. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune called White’s selection “outrageous.”

    It’s good to see the heads are still exploding as the rollback continues.

    James Bull

  14. You people are insane. What kind of topsy turvy world are you living in where the Sierra Club is the corrupt organization and Exxon and the Koch Brothers are the good guys? Putin must be paying his troll farm very well to populate this site with idiotic comments.

    • Chris, just because a person or organisation claims to care for the environment it doesn’t mean that what they say, do, and lobby for, is actually the best thing to do. I’ll add that the very well-funded Sierra Club appears to care little for human beings, who are just as much part of the environment as a tree or a whale is.

      As many people on this site frequently say, we would love to receive money from either Exxon or the Koch brothers, but actually write on our own time and dime, because we believe what we think. You need to try thinking more deeply as to why somebody might hold different views and opinions to you. This has been noticeable by its absence on the side that lost the last Presidential US election, and could yet cause them to lose the next one too.

    • Can’t handle the truth, huh Chris? You might want to lay off the Klimate Koolade. It’s making you delusional. Your idiocy can’t be helped though I’m afraid.

    • CC, you are no fun, and have no future as a troll. Try following the example of the LDS missionaries, and know your belief system well enough to preach it. Chris, you would only have a career with the New York Times, CNN, or MSNBC as a advocate.

  15. Why does this nomination only happen after the best part of year since the election? Was it simply because the role was fixed term and not due to be filled until a pre-specified date, or could a different incoming administration remove her on day one?

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