Senate committee clears Harnett White nomination
Updated 9:45 am, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Former top Texas environmental official Kathleen Hartnett White's nomination to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality cleared the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday.
After the party line vote, White's nomination will now go to the full Senate for a vote.
Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the committee, told reporters Tuesday he was confident she would pass out of the committee. But on Capitol Hill, not everyone was so sure White has the Republican votes to pass out of the committee, Politico reported:
The wild card (at least for White's nomination) is Iowa's Joni Ernst. White didn't win Ernst's backing immediately after backtracking on her previous sharp criticism of the Renewable Fuel Standard during her confirmation hearing, and her office didn't respond to requests for comment on her current stance.
White, who served as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under former Texas governor and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, has long rankled environmentalists with her views on climate change and renewable energy.
During a speech in Austin last year, White, who most recently worked at the conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, said climate change science was "highly uncertain" and that "renewables are a false hope."
The Environment and Public Works Committee also approved the nomination of Andrew Wheeler, nominee for deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency.