EPA Chief Of Staff Believes Burning More Fossil Fuel Will Fix Climate Change
President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency brought back a former official in March whose views on climate change include supporting the fossil fuel industry and tamping down on renewable energy initiatives.
- The Washington Post reported in February that Mandy Gunasekara initally joined the EPA in early 2017, overseeing the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation on an acting basis under then-Administrator Scott Pruit for about eight months.
- Gunasekara reportedly used her time playing a key role in efforts “to scale back federal rules aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution, including replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and federal gas-mileage standards.”
- After leaving the EPA a year ago, Gunasekara returned to her home state of Mississippi, where she started what she described as a “pro-Trump nonprofit” called Energy 45, and “has argued on behalf of the president’s support for fossil fuels and other energy policies, writing that his approach ‘has brought both economic prosperity and cleaner air and water.’”
- The week of March 17, Gunasekara was sworn in as chief of staff.
Like other senior staffers at Trump’s EPA, Gunasekara worked for a time under Senator James Inhoffe (R-OK), whose views on climate change are summed up well by the title of his book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”
- In early 2015, it was Gunasekara who handed Inhoffe his now-infamous snowball on the Senate floor as he mocked the notion that global warming is real and harmful.
- In her resignation letter to the president upon leaving the EPA, Gunasekara heaped immense praise on Trump’s environmental policies, writing: “Historic resistance from Democrats, the media and even some Republicans has made your accomplishments even more monumental. I am increasingly concerned with the rhetoric from the far-left supportive of Venezuelan-style socialism, government take-overs and crony ‘green new deals’ that do little for the environment and threaten our economic success.”