Disgraced Ex-EPA Official Joins Sierra Club

Published July 30, 2012

Al Armendariz, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Administrator who resigned in disgrace after being caught on camera saying EPA had a policy of arbitrarily “crucifying” oil and natural gas companies, has accepted a job as a top staffer at the Sierra Club as a spokesman against coal-fired power plants. Armendariz joined the Sierra Club as senior campaign representative for the group’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.

Fits Right in at Sierra Club

Armendariz was appointed to the EPA post by President Barack Obama in 2010, but he resigned after the release of a video showing him proclaiming EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies so that others are “really easy to manage.” 

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, facetiously congratulated Armendariz on his new job.

“I would like to congratulate Dr. Armendariz for his new job as a key player in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. 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,” Inhofe said in a press statement. 

“Dr. Armendariz follows numerous Obama administration officials who have come from or moved to radical left and green groups—it’s as if there is a revolving door between the White House and organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress,” Inhofe added. “Don’t forget that the Sierra Club has endorsed President Obama, and several EPA officials have publically admitted that they are working hand and glove with far left green groups to end fossil fuel development in America.” 

History of Extremism

H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, notes Armendariz was an environmental extremist long before joining EPA.

“Armendariz has always been an activist, so when he was appointed by President Obama, the liberals downplayed his past as an activist and instead stressed his academic credentials. They did this because they didn’t want anyone to realize he would be an activist in government.

“I don’t think he can do more mischief at the Sierra Club than he could in his position in the federal government,” Burnett added. “The Sierra Club is simply going to continue what they were doing before he joined them. They will continue to lobby, sue, and halt economic process in support of their environmental extremism and political goals.” 

Kathleen Hartnett White, director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says it is not surprising Armendariz wound up at the Sierra Club. 

“He was very much an activist before he was appointed to the EPA, and in many cases he already had a conclusion before doing the research. He very much demonstrated that he wanted corporations to be very fearful of the regulatory agency,” White explained.

Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.