Aha! That’s why the House Energy and Commerce Committee couldn’t find him a month ago.
Last Friday, the Sierra Club, to no one’s surprise, announced that they had hired former-EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz as a senior campaign representative for their “Beyond Coal” campaign. Back in the first week of June, Armendariz skipped testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and ran over to sign up for a job at the Sierra Club. The House had no idea where he had gone, only suspicions:
But it is clear that he was in Washington that day and met with someone—at the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest environmental organization. On Wednesday afternoon, when a reporter visited the Sierra Club’s Washington headquarters just a few blocks from Capitol Hill, Armendariz’s name was written on the sign-in sheet as having been the last person to visit the office. The visit apparently came only a few hours after Armendariz had infuriated Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee when he canceled his scheduled testimony on EPA enforcement issues without offering a reason.
This is the same guy who resigned from the EPA after a 2010 video came to light in which he compared the EPA’s enforcement of companies that polluted to Roman crucifixions:
It was kinda like how the Romans used to conquer those villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them. And you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.
Soon after Armendariz made the comments in 2010, the EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. In all three cases, EPA insinuated or even flat out stated that the use of hydraulic fracturing by the three companies was the cause of water contamination, but to this day they have offered no proof.
The Sierra Club stated that “Armendariz will draw on his scientific expertise working on air, water and climate science to help move Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas off coal-fired electricity and toward an economy powered by job-generating clean energy sources such as wind and the sun.”
Senator James Inhofe, who publicized the video and is the most vocal opponent of Armendariz, was the least surprised by the Sierra Club’s hiring of anyone, saying:
“I was, however, surprised not to have been asked to provide a reference — I would have been happy to tell the Sierra Club about his steadfast commitment to regulating fossil fuels out of existence. At least at the Sierra Club he won’t get into so much trouble for telling the truth that their true agenda is to kill oil, gas and coal.”