Another controversial nominee from President Joe Biden has been forced to withdraw from consideration for Senate confirmation amid pushback.
Ann Carlson, who Biden picked to be the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, came under fire from Senate Republicans due to her radical far-left views on climate change, the Conservative Brief reported.
There were reasonable concerns, based primarily on Carlson's own words, that she would exploit the position atop the NHTSA to impose her own beliefs about climate change and fossil fuels nationwide.
In an unexpected announcement from the White House on Tuesday, it was revealed that Ann Carlson's nomination to head the NHTSA had been withdrawn, ostensibly of her own volition, according to Fox News.
Carlson had been nominated in February by President Biden for the position that "oversees the nation’s vehicle safety agency, which makes cars and trucks safer by setting safety standards, identifying safety defects, and recalling unsafe vehicles," as well as awards grants to state highway departments, educates the public on traffic and vehicle safety issues, and also "directs the setting of fuel economy regulations for cars and trucks," among other things.
That February release noted that Carlson had been serving as acting administrator since September 2022, and prior to that had been the NHTSA general counsel, an appointed position she accepted in January 2021 after having previously served as an environmental law professor at UCLA.
According to Fox News, Carlson's nomination was sent to the Senate Commerce Committee for confirmation hearings but was effectively blocked by ranking member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and all other Republican members of the committee due to their legitimate concerns about Carlson's clear devotion to climate change beliefs and stated intention to use the NHTSA position to further her climate change agenda.
On May 1, Cruz and the other GOP members sent a letter to Carlson to express their concerns that she would seek to impose stringent fuel efficiency standards on the American public that "run contrary to the law, diminish vehicle choice, impose higher costs on American families, and undermine our national and energy security all while [benefiting] China."
The Texas senator further raised the alarm about Carlson -- and highlighted her own hypocrisy -- in a May 23 tweet that said, "Ann Carlson’s repeated calls to raise energy prices have been central to her climate alarmist advocacy, but she’s conveniently left out mention of her financial interest in natural gas well leases."
"Carlson has signaled that she intends to use her role as administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to further her crusade against fossil fuels, but with her investment in the oil and gas business, her attacks on American energy reek of hypocrisy," he added.
Now, upon hearing the news that Carlson's nomination had been withdrawn, Cruz told Fox News, "Ann Carlson’s withdrawal is a powerful blow to radical environmentalists who are attempting to enlist NHTSA into an outrageous attempt at banning gas-powered vehicles," and added, "I am proud of our work at the Commerce Committee to stop another extremist nominee from imposing a climate-alarmist agenda on the American people."
The outlet noted that Carlson is now the third Biden nominee that Cruz has blocked in the Commerce Committee, following the prior withdrawals of Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn and Federal Aviation Administration nominee Phillip Washington.
Fox News noted that it had obtained in April several emails Carlson had sent to UCLA colleagues in early 2021 to brag about her opportunity to join the NHTSA under President Biden and use that position to focus on her climate change agenda priorities, including fuel efficiency standards and the push to replace standard gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles.
Notably, it wasn't just Senate Republicans who opposed Carlson's nomination, but also dozens of organizations dealing with agriculture and the oil and gas industry. However, though her nomination has been withdrawn, a statement from Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg revealed that Carlson is not going anywhere and will retain her position, presumably as acting administrator and/or general counsel.