Several news outlets in the U.S. report that the Trump administration plans to withdraw its controversial nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White, a climate change sceptic, to lead the Council on Environmental Quality.
Trump appointed White, a former Texas environmental regulator who has said that carbon dioxide should be considered the “gas of life” rather than a pollutant, to be the White House senior environmental adviser last October.
But she had experienced a humiliating confirmation hearing where she appeared confused.
When Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat of Rhode Island, asked her to estimate how much heat in Earth’s atmosphere is stored in the oceans, she replied “I don’t have numbers like that,” adding, “I believe that there are differences of opinions on that, that there’s not one right answer.”
Previously, she had written that renewable energy was “unreliable and parasitic”, and described global warming as “a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science”. NGOs have welcomed her withdrawal, describing her as an “anti-science extremist”.
It says she wrote a book in 2016 called “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy”, as well as in numerous essays questioning climate change. There is no word yet who will replace her as Trump’s nominee for the post.