“A vocal defender of President Trump’s environmental and energy agenda starts today as EPA’s chief of staff.
Mandy Gunasekara has returned to the Trump EPA after resigning from the agency more than a year ago.
She was a top air policy adviser, rising to the position of principal deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation. She played a role in several of the agency’s rollbacks of air and climate regulations, including Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement.
Gunasekara’s resignation letter was full of praise for Trump, alluding to his campaign slogan and his reelection effort, as well as a broadside against “Venezuelan-style socialism, government take-overs and crony ‘green new deals.'”
That letter attracted scrutiny, sparking a complaint by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. The watchdog group argued the letter, on official EPA stationery, and its distribution by the EPA press office was a violation of the Hatch Act, which bars using government resources for political purposes.”