Armendariz Chose the Sierra Club Over Talking to Congress
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
Al Armendariz, former EPA Regional Director who resigned after a video surfaced where he said oil and gas companies should be crucified, bailed on a House of Representatives hearing investigating EPA enforcement overreach.
Why didn’t he go? Only he and his lawyer know. From National Journal, we do know where he was later that afternoon—visiting the Sierra Club:
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.
Based on Google Maps, the Rayburn House Office Building where the hearing was held is only 0.9 miles from the Sierra Club’s Washington, DC offices. It would take roughly four minutes by car, five minutes by bike, or 18 minutes by foot to get there. Distance didn’t stop him from going to both places.
Maybe Armendariz has something against the committee. According to a committee press release, Armendariz skipped a hearing in Houston last year to attend an environmentalist event that was also in that city.
Armendariz visiting the Sierra Club’s offices isn't strange. They both love to vilify oil and gas companies. Armendariz went on a witch hunt in 2010, accusing Range Resources of polluting drinking water—an action EPA had to rescind--while the Sierra Club just declared war on natural gas.
What's curious is Armendariz preferred to hang out with like-minded people instead of answering questions about his overbearing approach as an EPA regulator. If he thought that would make the controversy surrounding him go away, he will be disappointed.