“Now you have a full house for the fossil fuel industry,” said Christy Goldfuss, who served as managing director of the White House environmental council under former President Obama. She called Mrs. White’s appointment particularly troubling, citing a piece she wrote entitled, “Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case.” In it, Mrs. White argued that labeling carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant is “absurd” and asserted that it should be considered the “gas of life.”
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Mrs. White also has called renewable energy “unreliable and parasitic,” described global warming as “a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science,” and asserted that science does not dictate policy in democracies.
Conservatives, including those who accept the established science of climate change, said they believe Mrs. White is a good choice for the job.
“I don’t think that she’s right on climate science,” said Eli Lehrer, president of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank that has argued in favor of a carbon tax. But Mr. Lehrer also said he hoped that Mrs. White will support the Trump administration’s moves to reverse the Obama administration’s effort to regulate power plant emissions under the Clean Power Plan.
Terms like “500-year flood” and “100-year flood” are used as shorthand by government officials and actuaries, but they can confuse the public.
He said he is also optimistic that Mrs. White will help roll back other rules, including one that governs how the Environmental Protection Agency protects waterways.
“Her instincts on working to remove burdensome regulation, I expect, are largely right,” Mr. Lehrer said.
Democrats, meanwhile, have begun to question the choice of Mr. Myers to lead NOAA. The administration, which is the country’s chef agency on atmospheric science, falls under the Department of Commerce and is responsible for weather forecasting, climate modeling and ocean services.
Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, said in a statement that as head of a for-profit weather forecasting service, Mr. Myers essentially viewed NOAA as a direct competitor, since the agency provides forecasts for free. He said Mr. Myers would likely face conflicts of interest as administrator and called the nomination a “questionable choice.”