Trump’s latest profiteer/plunderer cheerleader – Kathleen Hartnett-White chosen to lead the Whitehouse Council on Environmental Quality.

Issue: Hartnett-White was re-nominated by Trump last week to lead the CEQ. The full senate could be voting on the Hartnett-White nomination in the next several weeks. Harnett-White is an oil industry tool who is capable of denying science in weirdly creative ways. Email Toomey and Casey to vote NO on Hartnett-White’s nomination to lead the Whitehouse Council on Environmental Quality.

Email:  As head of the Council on Environmental Quality, Hartnett White would be in charge of coordinating interagency science, climate, and environmental policy and would oversee things such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process and agency compliance with that law.
Do not vote to confirm Kathleen Hartnett White, the reasons are listed below and speak for themselves. A vote for Kathleen Hartnett White would be an act of bad faith in science and a refutation of our current undeniable climate crisis in order to serve your fossil fuel donors.
– KHW has an educational background in religious studies and believes, via the Texas Public Policy Foundation Fueling Freedom Project that there is a “forgotten moral case for fossil fuel.”
– She seeks, through the Fueling Freedom project, to end the regulation of CO2 as a pollutant.
– She believes, as a member of the CO2 Coalition, that increased CO2 is beneficial for life on Earth.
– She argues against a shift to renewable energy in her book Fueling Freedom.
– As leader of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, she voted to construct a new coal plant near Dallas despite opposition from mayors and officials in 24 cities and counties.
– When the coal plant’s pollution controls were found to be insufficient, Harnett White argued that the plant owner was “under no obligation to prove its pollution controls would work.”
– Under her direction of the TCEQ, limits on radiation levels in drinking water were lowered, in defiance of EPA rules.
– Writing in The Hill, Hartnett White said: “Renewables are a false hope that simply won’t work.” and “[I]ntermittent renewables are parasitic on back-up power from reliable fossil fuels” 
– She later describes climate change policies as a “civilizational threat,” and claims that “All the climate policies to date are futile.” “President Obama and his lieutenants repeatedly said that the greatest global civilizational threat is the threat of man-made global warming, in his views caused by fossil fuels” she said.
“I submit that climate policies, not fossil fuels nor CO2 is actually a civilizational threat. That’s what the book [Fueling Freedom] has kind of been about.”

Information above is from https://www.desmogblog.com/kathleen-hartnett-white

Background: Hartnett-White directs the Armstrong Center for Energy & Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). TPPF is part of the State Policy Network, a network of conservative think tanks across the country largely funded by Koch-backed dark money groups DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. TPPF has received over $3.7 million from Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust, as well as almost $900,000 from the Koch-backed Claude R. Lambe and Charles G. Koch foundations and $100,000 from ExxonMobil.

This woman makes it up as she goes. Hartnett-White told POLITICO in an interview that rather than listen to the conclusions of the world’s foremost climate science experts as summarized in the IPCC reports, she favors a commission that would develop an “alternative scientific methodology” and would include the voices of the less than 3% of climate scientists who reject the consensus on human-caused global warming.

Hartnett-White touted the supposed “environmental benefits” of fossil fuels — and carbon pollution — in a 2015 column for conservative website Townhall.com: “No matter how many times, the President, EPA and the media rant about “dirty carbon pollution,” there is no pollution about carbon itself! As a dictionary will tell you, carbon is the chemical basis of all life. Our flesh, blood and bones are built of carbon. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas of life on this planet, an essential nutrient for plant growth on which human life depends. How craftily our government has masked these fundamental realities and the environmental benefits of fossil fuels!”

Additionally, Rolling Stone reported that a state auditor report found Hartnett-White consistently failed to hold polluters accountable for breaking the law when she chaired the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:

Luke Metzger, director of the non-profit Environment Texas, has spent years going head-to-head with the Texas Environmental Quality Commission. As chair, Hartnett-White “embodied the philosophy at the agency, which was to put the interests of big polluters ahead of public health and the environment,” Metzger tells Rolling Stone.

He cites a 2003 state auditor report finding that TEQC under Hartnett-White consistently failed to hold violators accountable for breaking its laws, applied fines that amounted to only about 40 percent of the profits the companies made breaking the law, and introduced policies that weakened its own regulations.

Background information above from: https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2016/10/12/media-guide-fossil-fuel-industry-players-setting-trump-s-energy-agenda/213618#hartnettwhite

Drilling more wells, this time in the oceans

Issue:  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on January 5, 2018, that 90% of the country’s coastal waters are now being considered for oil & gas drilling. The move reverses an Obama-era ban on drilling in U.S. coastal waters, as well as bans on offshore drilling in California and the Atlantic that go back decades. Submit your comment on this issue here.

Background text from the Sierra Club: In 2016, over 3.3 million people submitted public comments opposing the 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, and thousands of people attended public meetings to show their support for protecting our oceans, coasts, and climate. The draft proposal for 2019 to 2024 completely ignores what the public overwhelmingly supports — no offshore drilling. This decision also ignores permanent protections that exist for the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.

The previous administration did not propose drilling in the Pacific Ocean due to the steadfast opposition of western coastal states. Proposals for drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans were also dropped due to overwhelming opposition. This is true even in Republican-led states, like North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, where 90% of coastal cities passed resolutions against offshore drilling and/or seismic testing. Similarly, Shell gave up its plans to pursue oil in the Arctic because of the strong public opposition, extreme costs, risks, and difficulty of doing so.

The huge red-alarm elephant in the room on all media reporting regarding 45’s administrative attempts to give it all up to their BFFs (big fossil fuel) is that new drilling is going to ruin any good future for humans on earth, see text below:

Notes based on 2016 article by Bill McKibben:

Late 2016 math* on how much CO2 is currently available from coal, oil, and gas wells currently in operation: 942 gigatons.
There is a broad scientific consensus** that only 800 gigatons of CO2 can be released into the atmosphere to have a 2/3rd chance of staying below a 2 deg. Celsius increase in global temperature.

942 billion tons of CO2 in operating wells > 800 billion ton limit to keep below 2.0 deg. increase

COP 21 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference) aimed to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
Bill McKibben’s late 2016 article used 353 gigatons as the then-current CO2 budget necessary to stay within a 1.5 degree Celsius limit.**

942 billion tons of Co2 in operating wells > 353 billion ton limit to keep below 1.5 deg. increase

McKibben: “In the United States alone, the existing mines and oil wells and gas fields contain 86 billion tons of carbon emissions—enough to take us 25 percent of the way to a 1.5 degree rise in global temperature.”
|These numbers have shifted since late 2016, but the dynamic between fossil fuels in operating wells and allowable carbon budget has not shifted.

*Based on a report by Oil Change International, a Washington-based think tank, using data from the Norwegian energy consultants Rystad.

** IPCC, Global Carbon Project

Current Status: From EENews: Opponents include the governors of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon and Washington; more than 150 coastal municipalities; and an alliance of more than 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families.
It will take at least a year before any final decisions about leasing areas are finalized, the agency said. It noted that areas can be removed from the five-year plan, but not added. The release of the draft on Jan. 5 kicks off a 60-day public comment period. BOEM has scheduled 23 public meetings to gather in-person comment and will have to conduct a full environmental assessment.

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