Former Texas regulator Kathleen Hartnett Whiteâ€™s commentary in todayâ€™s Opinion pages in support of the Holcomb coal-plant expansion deserves some response.
She would have approved the plant, she argues, because it â€œcomplied with all applicable legal requirements.â€ But Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Rod Brembyâ€™s decision was based on his legal authority, upheld by a Kansas attorney general opinion, to intervene to protect Kansansâ€™ health.
She also makes misleading, unsupported assertions on science, claiming that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change portrays global warming as an â€œuncertain, remote, gradual risk with impacts predicted in 100 years or more.â€
To the contrary, the panelâ€™s study is unequivocal on the high risks of warming, the environmental damage already under way, and the urgency of controlling carbon and greenhouse gases now.
A further note: White left her position last year under a storm of criticism. The Dallas Morning News said in a scathing editorial: â€œShe has been an apologist for polluters, consistently siding with business interests instead of protecting public health. Ms. White worked to set a low bar as she lobbied for lax ozone standards and pushed through an inadequate anti-pollution plan. She also voted to approve TXUâ€™s pollution-intensive Oak Grove coal units, ignoring evidence that emissions from the lignite plant could thwart North Texasâ€™ efforts to meet air quality standards.â€