Ex-EPA Regional Head Moving to Sierra Club

Ex-EPA Regional Head Moving to Sierra Club

Former EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz found himself in some hot water a few months back when video emerged of him describing his strategy for regulating energy interests as the modern equivalent of Roman crucifixions. Armendariz said:

I was in a meeting once, and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy [inaudible] enforcement and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said. It’s like how the Romans used to conquer villages in the Mediterranean, they’d go to a little Turkish town somewhere they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.

At the time, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Armendariz’s remark was “an inaccurate way to describe the work the EPA does,” and not surprisingly, Almendariz moved on from EPA.

Now, it turns out, he has a new gig, one that will allow him to crucify away, free of the menace of officials like Sen. James Inhofe: Armendariz is the Sierra Club’s latest hire for their Beyond Coal campaign. From the release:

Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Dr. Alfredo “Al” Armendariz will join the staff of the Sierra Club effective in mid-July as Senior Campaign Representative for the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign. Based in Austin, Dr. 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.

“This is an exciting day for clean energy and public health supporters in Texas,” said Bruce Nilles, Senior Campaign Director for Beyond Coal campaign. “Al has worked closely with the Sierra Club for many years, as an environmental scientist and professor…”

Previously, Armendariz’s main focus appeared to be oil and gas, so the new job appears to be allowing him an opportunity to diversify and go big. According to the Count on Coal campaign, in 2010, coal was the source of 46% of the electricity generated nationwide; according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, 25% of global recoverable coal reserves are located within the United States.