Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Exclusive: Top EPA official leaves to start new advocacy group

Trump digs coal soon
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Mandy Gunasekara, who has been instrumental in crafting President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks on a range of air pollution standards, is leaving the Environmental Protection Agency to start a new political advocacy group defending those policies.

Driving the news: Gunasekara, deputy assistant administrator in EPA’s air office, is sending her resignation letter to Trump Friday, according to a copy viewed by Axios. 

Andrew Wheeler blames forest management as cause of wildfires

Andrew Wheeler.
Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler told senators during his confirmation hearing Wednesday, "I think the biggest issue with wildfires is forest management ... not drought."

Why it matters: Studies show that climate change, which is leading to hotter, drier summers in California, is tied to the sharp increase in large wildfires in that state and other parts of the West, along with a lengthening fire season, Axios' Andrew Freedman notes. Forest management and population growth are also factors, but they don't explain the entire situation.

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