White House

Trump turns to a private-sector Texan as a potential Cabinet pick

Kathleen Hartnett White, a director of energy policy at a conservative Texas think-tank and a Donald Trump energy adviser during the campaign, met with the president-elect Monday afternoon.
Kathleen Hartnett White, a director of energy policy at a conservative Texas think-tank and a Donald Trump energy adviser during the campaign, met with the president-elect Monday afternoon. DCBureau

The parade of Texans to Trump Tower continues, but this time the president-elect is turning to a lesser-known individual for policy advice.

Kathleen Hartnett White, a director of energy policy at a conservative Texas think-tank and a Donald Trump energy adviser during the campaign, met with the president-elect Monday afternoon.

White told The Texas Tribune she has been contacted by the Trump transition team.

“I think a lot of things are way too premature to try to characterize meaningfully, but it would be my lifelong work — it would be an honor to serve in his administration,” White said.

White serves as the director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based conservative think-tank. She formerly led the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a state agency with the goal of “clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.”

White’s background as a regulator and environmental policymaker would likely make her a fit to lead the Environmental Protection Agency or the Interior Department in Trump’s Cabinet.

Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore said White is “one of the great environmental and natural resources experts in our country” and that he would “love to see her in a high-level position.”

But her appointment would likely irk environmentalists.

In July, White authored a piece for National Review titled “The GOP Platform Is Right: Coal is Clean.”

In an October interview with the Orlando Sentinel, White described renewable energy as “uncontrollable.”

“Adding more and more variable, uncontrollable renewables to the electric grid will serve only to necessitate backup power from reliable coal or natural gas to stabilize the mix,” White said in the interview.

The Dallas Morning News editorial board described White as an “apologist for polluters” in 2007 after she left the TCEQ.

Another member of the TPPF, former Rick Perry deputy general counsel Brooke Rollins, is also reportedly under consideration for a role in the Trump administration. Rollins is the president and CEO of the think-tank.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

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