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Trump nominates climate policy skeptic for top White House environmental job

101317 Trump Top White House Environment Nominee pic
Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump's nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, visited Trump Tower in New York in November. (Anthony Behar/Pool via Bloomberg)

President Trump said Thursday night he is nominating Kathleen Hartnett White as chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

White is a former chairwoman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who currently works at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank that has received funding from Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and other energy companies.

Like other Trump administration officials, she has expressed doubt about mainstream climate science and has written numerous essays and op-eds about climate change, including one in which she said "carbon dioxide is not a pollutant."

"Our bones and blood are made out of carbon," White wrote in a June op-ed.

White, in another commentary last year, said former President Barack Obama's climate change policies were "deluded and illegitimate."

The Council on Environmental Quality coordinates environmental policy at the White House. White would be in charge of implementing Trump executive orders on energy and the environment.

These include a Trump order for the council to eliminate guidance directing all federal agencies to consider climate change when they conduct environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.

In January, the Trump administration told the council to establish a plan to speed environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects.

White's job requires Senate confirmation.