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The Biden administration has withdrawn a National Highway Safety Administration nominee amid rising resistance and opposition to her perceived far-left views.
The nomination of former UCLA environmental law professor Ann Carlson to head up the agency comes after Commerce Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led the opposition, saying he and others were concerned she would adopt a radical environmental agenda.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
“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.
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…
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 23, 2023
Fox News added:
In a surprise release, the White House said it had informed the Senate that Carlson’s nomination had been withdrawn. Biden nominated Carlson in February to be the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the nomination had been transmitted to the Senate Commerce Committee a month later.
A White House official told Fox News Digital that it was Carlson’s decision to withdraw from consideration for the position.
The withdrawal of the nomination marks the third instance of a nominee facing setbacks upon reaching the Senate Commerce Committee.
Gigi Sohn, who was nominated by President Biden for the Federal Communications Commission, and Phillip Washington, Biden’s choice for the leadership of the Federal Aviation Administration, have also recently had their nominations withdrawn. Cruz, the ranking member of the committee, has been at the forefront of the opposition against all three nominees, Fox News added.
“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,” he told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Cruz was at the head of a letter on May 1 to Carlson signed by every other Commerce Committee Republican in which they said they were concerned she would pursue fuel economy standards as head of the NHTSA 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.”
In January 2021, the Biden-Harris transition team appointed Carlson, who was previously an environmental law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as the chief counsel of NHTSA.
Although Senate confirmation was not required for this position, Carlson has played a crucial role in overseeing important agency initiatives, such as the revision of fuel economy standards.
Since September, Carlson has also been serving as the acting administrator of NHTSA, the network reported.
In April, emails examined by Fox News Digital revealed that Carlson had informed her colleagues at UCLA about her appointment to NHTSA in a position focused on addressing climate change. In one email, she expressed her belief that her selection was “evidence that the Biden Administration is truly committed to a ‘whole of government’ approach to addressing climate change.”
“NHTSA has authority over fuel economy for cars and trucks and has been at the center of the standards to reduce [greenhouse gas emissions] from the transport sector,” she said in an email dated Jan. 19, 2021. “I’m being appointed along with the deputy administrator as the first NHTSA appointees ever with serious climate expertise.”