Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee have accused Trump’s nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White for plagiarizing her written answers to questions asked by the committee.
Ten Senators crafted a formal letter addressed to White asking her to explain at least 18 of her responses that they say included language that appeared to be the exact same responses provided by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Bill Wehrum.
“We are troubled that it appears you have cut and pasted from the written answers of other nominees in your responses to questions that were submitted to you,” the senators wrote in the letter dated December 12.
White is the former chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and was nominated by President Trump to lead the Council on Environmental Quality.
Ever since Trump nominated her as head of the Council on Environmental Quality, Democrats have asserted that she is not qualified to lead the agency and have always felt her views on environmental topics were in opposition to theirs.
The letter to White highlights in red at least 18 times where her responses to questions asked to her contained the exact same words as responses provided by Pruitt or Wehrum. The letter shows examples of her responses and their responses side-by-side.
When she was asked a question about the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule, her response was:
“The quantifiable monetized benefits of the HAP reductions predicted to occur under MATS measured only a few million dollars. I understand that EPA has recalculated the benefits attributable to MATS in response to the Supreme Court remand. I am not familiar with the new estimates and I cannot prejudge any decision that might be made by EPA as it conducts its ongoing review of the rule.”
Mr. Wehrum’s response was exactly the same, with the exception of the last sentence. Instead of “and I cannot prejudge any decision that might be made by EPA as it conducts its ongoing review of the rule,” Wehrum writes, “If confirmed, I intend to consider them objectively.”
The letter points out similar instances by highlighting her responses and matching it word-for-word.
The letter asks White to either admit she was plagiarizing someone or “list the source or person” she used to create her responses.
She has until December 22, 2017 to submit new responses or explain her current ones, according to the formal letter.
One of the examples from the letter sent to Kathleen Hartnett White