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Kathleen Hartnett White

Kathleen Hartnett White

Distinguished Senior Fellow-In-Residence & Director, Armstrong Center For Energy & The Environment
Texas Public Policy Foundation


Kathleen Hartnett White is the Distinguished Senior Fellow in Residence and the Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE) at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Kathleen directs the CEE’s research and policy development on a range of issues including energy, climate change, air quality, water quality & water rights and waste. In August 2007, Kathleen White completed her six-year term as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). With regulatory jurisdiction over air quality, water quality, water rights & water utilities and waste, TCEQ is the second largest environmental agency in the world after U.S. EPA. As the final state decision maker, she presided over complex and controversial permitting issues such as coal-fired power plants, ozone controls for Houston’s petrochemical complex, climate change, water right permits and radioactive waste disposal. Prior to Governor Rick Perry’s appointment of Kathleen Hartnett White to TCEQ in 2001, she served on the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Economic Development Commission and the Environmental Flows Study Commission. Kathleen now is an officer and a director of the Lower Colorado River Authority - her fifth gubernatorial appointment. She has received the Texas Water Conservation Association’s President’s Award, the Colorado River Foundation’s Friend of the River Award and the Texas Chemical Council’s Leadership Award. Her writing has been published in the National Review, Investors’ Business Daily, Washington Examiner, Daily Caller, Weekly Standard and many state newspapers. A writer and consultant on environmental laws, natural resource policy, private property rights and ranching history, White received her bachelor cum laude and master degrees from Stanford University where she held the E. W. Lyman Academic Scholarship. Her many academic awards include a national Danforth National Fellowship for doctoral work at Princeton University, Princeton’s Jonathan Edwards Award for Academic Excellence, and a Lineberry Foundation Fellowship at Texas Tech University School of law. White is also a partner with her husband in a 125 year-old ranching operation in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties, Texas.

Research Interest

Air Quality, Water, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Energy & The Environment, Electricity and Conventional Fuels.