Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 7, 2017

Contact: Stephanie Kurose, (203) 524-0562,

U.S. Senate Urged to Reject Kathleen Hartnett White for Key Environmental Post

WASHINGTON— Nearly 50 environmental organizations today urged the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to reject President Trump’s nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White as the chair of the Council on Environmental Quality.

The Senate committee will hold a hearing tomorrow morning on the nomination. If confirmed, Hartnett White would coordinate science, energy and environmental policy across all federal agencies. She would also oversee environmental reviews for new energy and infrastructure projects.

Today’s letter from 47 groups notes that “Ms. White has been a demagogic opponent of the Endangered Species Act, opposing protections for critically imperiled animals and plants in Texas.” The letter points out that she “has built her career aligning herself with the fossil fuel industry and favoring big corporations and special interests over the health of the public and the environment.”

“White is yet another Trump nominee for an environmental protection office who fanatically opposes protecting the environment,” said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “She has attacked protections for endangered golden-cheeked warblers in Texas and has no qualms about letting wildlife go extinct to help special interests make more money. In this post she could do incredible harm to our nation’s natural heritage.”

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.

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

“To confirm White for one of the highest environmental posts in our government would be deeply irresponsible,” said Kurose. “Senate Republicans shouldn’t rubber-stamp an industry puppet for such an important job.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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