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White House to abandon controversial nominee for Council on Environmental Quality head

By Brooks Hays
White House to abandon controversial nominee for Council on Environmental Quality head
Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, has been criticized for saying the EPA shouldn't regulate CO2 emissions. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The White House plans to withdraw the controversial nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White for head of the Council on Environmental Quality.

While most of President Trump's nominations to environmental policy posts have been approved, Congress has declined to take up the cause of Hartnett White.

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Her nomination to lead the CEQ, which coordinates environmental policy across the entirety of the federal government, failed to gain momentum in Congress after Trump's officially submitted her name in October.

At the end of the year, her pending nomination expired. Trump once again submitted her name, but Congress has remained unmoved. Some House Republicans have questioned her expertise.

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As a result of the cool response, the White as reportedly decided to withdraw White's nomination. Though the withdrawal has not been announced by the White House, staffers appraised of the situation say the decision to withdraw her name has already been made.

The administration officials spoke of the planned withdrawal on the condition of anonymity, according to the Washington Post.

White has been criticized for comments on climate change. According to CNN, she said belief in global warming was a "kind of paganism" for "secular elites."

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Several Democratic senators challenged White's views on global warming in confirmation hearings.

In a hearing in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, White admitted human activities play some role in warming the planet, but qualified her statement, saying: "the extent to which, I think, is very uncertain."

"I'm not a scientist, but in my personal capacity, I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy,"White said during the hearing. "I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role."

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White is a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She previously lead the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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