environmental non-protection
February 14, 2020

President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency might be taking another big step toward rolling back environmental protections.

The Trump administration isn't exactly known for its planet-friendly policies, and established that record early on by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. Mandy Gunasekara played a big role in supporting that withdrawal as the EPA's top air policy adviser, and while she departed the office a year ago, is reportedly likely to return as the EPA's chief of staff, two people briefed on the hire tell The Washington Post.

Gunasekara formerly oversaw the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation under then-administrator Scott Pruitt before leaving to start what she called a "pro-Trump" nonprofit, per the Post. But before she joined the administration, Gunasekara, just like now-EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, worked for the climate change-denying Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Inhofe wrote a whole book claiming climate change is "The Greatest Hoax," and once brought a snowball onto the Senate floor to apparently prove global warming is fake because it still gets cold sometimes. Gunasekara was the aide who handed Inhofe that snowball.

Current EPA Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson, another Inhofe alumnus, is leaving the office later this month. An EPA spokesperson would only say Michael Molina would take over as acting chief of staff when Jackson departs. Also, because it apparently needs to be said: Human-caused climate change isn't negated by the fact that once in a while, it snows in Washington, D.C. Kathryn Krawczyk

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