Mississippian Mandy Gunasekara, a former contributor to Y’all Politics, is back at the Environmental Protection Agency as Chief of Staff to Administrator Andrew Wheeler, drawing criticism from the left.
At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the nomination of Douglas Benevento as Deputy EPA Administrator last week, Ranking Member Delaware Sen. Tom Carper (D) took the opportunity to challenge Gunasekara over tweets from 2019.
“Mr. Wheeler apparently just hired a new Chief of Staff whose tweets proclaims that she believes the so called, this is her quote, “looney left” want to quote, “implement a Soviet-style takeover of our energy and our economy,” and it goes on to say, quote, “Democrat actions are corroding democracy,” Sen. Carper said. “That’s the Chief of Staff of our EPA Administrator.”
The looney left has lost their minds. ????????♀️ Now they want to implement a Soviet-styled takeover of our energy and our economy. It didn’t work in Venezuela and won’t work here. It’s time for us to join together and stop their radical agenda. pic.twitter.com/6iaTJ7comM
— Mandy Gunasekara (@MississippiMG) February 23, 2019
Democrat actions are corroding democracy. https://t.co/cIeZZNohPr
— Mandy Gunasekara (@MississippiMG) September 24, 2019
The Vietnam veteran went on to say, “Comments like the ones from this Chief of Staff conflating climate action with communism aren’t just intellectually baseless, they are dishonest, they are reprehensible, especially when you consider the military service record of our Commander-in-Chief during that same period of time.”
Gunasekara did not back down from her comments when questioned by the Washington Examiner following the hearing.
“With bad ideas coming from Congress, I will always be honest with how I characterize those not only within the agency but to the general public,” Gunasekara told the Washington Examiner. “If Democrats don’t want to be called socialist, I would suggest they stop putting out socialist-aligned policies.”
As for Sen. Carper’s dislike of her comparison of “a Soviet-style takeover’, Gunasekara told the Washington Examiner, “Having seen the perils of communism firsthand, I hope we can find common ground in working against the socialist-aligned policies that some of his Democrat colleagues are unfortunately embracing.”
Gunasekara founded the Energy 45 Fund, a Jackson, Mississippi based 501(c)(4) non-profit focused on educational organization dedicated to informing the public about the environmental and economic gains made under the Trump Administration. She served in the EPA as the Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation until February 2019. While at EPA, she spearheaded many of the Trump Administrations energy policy achievements. Gunasekara was a leading voice on the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and she orchestrated the repeal/replace of the Clean Power Plan.