The White House plans to withdraw the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, an administration official confirmed to E&E News.
President Trump tapped Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator who thinks carbon dioxide has been unfairly vilified, to lead the influential environmental post last fall (E&E Daily, Oct. 13, 2017).
She cleared the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last year on a party-line vote, but Democratic opposition meant the White House had to renominate her this month.
She was facing tough questions from both sides of the aisle after defending fossil fuels and questioning the extent to which humans contribute to climate change (E&E Daily, Jan. 19).
The Washington Post first reported the White House decision.
Hartnett White once headed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and now serves as a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The withdrawal of her nomination sets into motion the search for a new head of CEQ, which Trump has tasked with narrowing and accelerating environmental reviews in step with the administration's infrastructure push.
Hartnett White out of the picture may ease the confirmation of other administration environmental picks. Democrats were particularly incensed by her renomination.