Energy & Environment

Senate Committee Advances Texan’s Nomination To Top White House Environmental Post

Kathleen Hartnett White now needs full approval from the U.S. Senate.

Kathleen Hartnett White

A Texan is on her way to becoming the president's top environmental adviser. Critics call her a climate change denier.

On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White. She was head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for almost four years.

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, a group that Hartnett White is a member of, has said her regulating experience makes her "highly qualified" to help the White House develop environmental policy.

Her critics argue that she denies basic facts about science and the climate. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey was among the Senate committee's Democrats who had tough words for the nominee.

"Under Mrs. White, ‘CEQ' would no longer stand for ‘Council on Environmental Quality,'" Markey said. "It would stand for ‘Crazy Environmental Quackery.'"

Republicans supported Hartnett White in Wednesday's 11-10 party line vote. She now needs full approval from the Republican-controlled Senate.