Trump Re-Nominates Anti-Wildlife Climate Denier to Top Environment Post

The Trump administration re-nominated Kathleen Hartnett White on Monday to be chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) after she failed to secure a Senate confirmation last year.

The CEQ chair oversees environmental policy across all federal agencies. But during Senate hearings in November, White struggled to answer basic questions about the CEQ's role and whether she would use facts in environmental recommendations to the president. She continues to deny that carbon dioxide is harmful to the planet.

"White is a disastrous candidate who will have a profoundly destructive effect on our climate and wildlife if given this job in the Trump administration," said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. "Her extreme views and disturbing record should disqualify her from this crucial leadership position."

White has previously argued there is a "moral case" for expanding fossil fuel development regardless of carbon dioxide emissions. She also claimed there is a "connection between the abolition of slavery and humanity's first widespread use of energy from fossil fuels."

In her current position at the Texas Public Policy Foundation—a conservative think tank that has received huge donations from fossil fuel interests that include Koch Industries, ExxonMobil and Chevron—White has worked to undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Nearly 50 organizations sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works opposing White's nomination. The letter expressed support for the Endangered Species Act, which has saved more than 99 percent of species under its protection from extinction and put hundreds of species on the path to recovery.

"White is yet another Trump appointee picked to lead an agency whose conservation mission she fundamentally rejects," said Kurose. "Confirming her to this powerful position would be shortsighted and deeply irresponsible."

The Trump administration also re-nominated Susan Combs to be assistant secretary of policy management and budget within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Combs—an outspoken opponent of federal endangered species protection—built her career by favoring big corporations and special interests over the needs and survival of imperiled species.

Show Comments ()

Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

The Trump administration is holding the biggest offshore oil and gas lease auction in U.S. history Wednesday, offering all 77 million acres of unleased, available federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale comes as administration officials seek to rescind drilling safety rules approved after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, reduce royalties paid by oil companies, and expand offshore drilling into every ocean in the country.

Keep reading... Show less
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt. Mitchell Resnick

Pruitt to Restrict Use of Scientific Data in EPA Policymaking

In the coming weeks, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to announce a proposal that would limit the type of scientific studies and data the agency can use in crafting public health and environmental regulations.

The planned policy shift, first reported by E&E News, would require the EPA to only use scientific findings whose data and methodologies are made public and can be replicated.

Keep reading... Show less
Mity / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

20% of U.S. Diets Responsible for Almost Half of Country’s Food-Related Emissions, Study Finds

If you've been deliberating about going vegetarian, a study published Tuesday in Environmental Letters might give you the final push.

Keep reading... Show less
Sea Shepherd small boat assists the Liberian Coast Guard to chase down the F/V Hai Lung. Sea Shepherd

Notorious Toothfish Poacher Arrested by Liberian Coast Guard, Assisted by Sea Shepherd

A notorious Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish poaching vessel, famous for plundering the Antarctic, was arrested on March 13 in waters belonging to the West African state of Liberia by the Liberian Coast Guard, with assistance from the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.

The F/V Hai Lung, known to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) by its previous name "Kily," was transiting through Liberian waters when it was boarded and inspected by a Liberian Coast Guard team working alongside Sea Shepherd crew on board Sea Shepherd's patrol vessel M/Y Sam Simon.

Keep reading... Show less

7 Must-See Films at the 42nd Cleveland International Film Fest

It's that time, again!

EcoWatch is proud to be a media partner of the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), now celebrating its 42nd year. This year, EcoWatch is honored to be sponsoring Anote's Ark. This documentary spotlights Kiribati, a small remote island facing devastating effects due to climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 'We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full.' EU Commission Twitter

EU Approves Controversial Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The European Union approved Bayer's takeover of Monsanto, a major hurdle in the $66 billion merger that would create the world's largest integrated seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The European Commission said the German chemical-maker's takeover of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant is "conditional on an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture."

Keep reading... Show less
Todd Porter & Diane Cu

How Much Daily Activity You Need to Burn off 9 Healthy (But High-Calorie) Foods

By Luke Doyle

A healthy lifestyle is fueled by nutrient-rich foods that give your body the energy it needs. But some of these foods come with high calorie counts and the "healthy" label doesn't mean it's okay to consume unlimited amounts of them.

Keep reading... Show less
Marine debris laden beach in Hawaii. NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report.

The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025.

Keep reading... Show less


The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!