The White House plans to walk back on one of the more controversial nominations of the Trump Administration – and remember, this includes questionable personalities like Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt.
In keeping with the theme of people who are deeply unqualified to run the agency to which they’re nominated, Kathleen Harnett White was a terrible choice to run the Council on Environmental Quality.
Cutting to the chase, perhaps her most egregious disqualifying characteristic was her stance on climate change: namely that she’s been vocal about denying its existence.
White’s nomination failed to gain momentum in congress. Even some senate Republicans expressed doubts about her viability.
She confused everyone with this statement at her confirmation hearing.
“I’m not a scientist, but in my personal capacity, I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy. I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role.”
It’s tough to back a scientist who outwardly proclaims a mistrust of science.
When asked about the exact amount of heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean, White not only said she didn’t have those kinds of numbers, but classified whatever they would be as “opinions” that could “differ.”
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) who asked the question aired his incredulity.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) November 9, 2017
The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates activities amongst the different agencies in the government pertaining to environmental issues. While it’s generally more powerful under a Democratic administration, it was particularly effective under George W. Bush because the same person headed it up the full two terms.
Given the generally low quality of nominees to head up the various government agencies in this administration, it speaks volumes as to just how bad White must be for the White House to voluntarily withdraw her.
Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a new era of this kind of self awareness in the administration. Don’t hold your breath, though.