President Trump is adding to his list of dirty-energy deputies. E&E News recently reported that polluter puppet and outspoken climate change denier Kathleen Hartnett White is Trump’s presumptive nominee to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White is wholly unfit to hold one of the most powerful environmental positions in the Trump administration for a variety of reasons.

She has called renewable energy “parasitic.” She doesn’t believe that methane pollution is a problem, and went as far as to write a National Review piece headlined “The GOP platform is right: Coal is clean.” I don’t think I need to delve into the absurdity of that claim, so we’ll leave it alone.

She even denied basic science, saying that carbon pollution is good for the planet. That makes her even more extreme than Energy Secretary Rick Perry or Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, both of whom have claimed that manmade carbon pollution is not a direct contributor to climate change.

Most recently employed by the Koch-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation, Kathleen Hartnett White has spent her entire career undermining science and trying to prevent action on climate change. In the modern era – where 97 percent of climate scientists have come to the same conclusion, that humanity is the driving force behind climate change, and that if we don’t take swift and immediate action the result will be catastrophic – we simply cannot afford to have Hartnett White in charge of protecting our health.

Alex Benjamine

Portland