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Report: Nominee who called belief in climate change a ‘kind of paganism’ to be dropped

The White House is planning to withdraw its nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, according to The Washington Post.

Kathleen Hartnett White’s nomination failed to gather momentum, and some Senate Republicans were questioning her expertise, the Post reported, citing two administration officials briefed on the matter.

CNN’s KFile reported Hartnett White, who would have overseen environmental and energy policies across the government, had described the belief in “global warming” as a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites” during a 2016 interview.

Hartnett White appeared on “The Right Perspective,” an online conservative radio show, in September 2016 when she made the comments talking about a “dark side” to belief in global warming.

“There’s a real dark side of the kind of paganism — the secular elites’ religion now — being evidently global warming,” she said.

President Donald Trump announced Hartnett White’s nomination in October and re-submitted her nomination to the Senate in January. Senators challenged her statements about climate change, which go against the scientific consensus that man-made greenhouse gases are the primary driver of rising temperatures, during her confirmation hearing in November.

White has a long history of questioning established science on climate change and once dismissed the idea that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and calling it “the gas of life on this planet” — comments that drew criticism from environmentalists who opposed her nomination.