‘Crucify them’ Obama EPA official returns to activist roots

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The President Barack Obama-appointed Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator who bragged about the agency’s “crucify” oil and gas producers enforcement policy is now a full-fledged activist.

The Sierra Club announced Friday that former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz will join the staff of the environmental advocacy group in mid-July as the group’s Senior Campaign Representative for the organization’s Beyond Coal campaign.

“This is an exciting day for clean energy and public health supporters in Texas,” said Bruce Nilles, senior campaign director for the Beyond Coal campaign. “Al has worked closely with the Sierra Club for many years, as an environmental scientist and professor. He understands the critical importance of developing clean energy to create jobs, protect people and protect air and water.”

Armendariz resigned in April amid controversy stemming from a 2010 speech in which he analogized EPA’s enforcement policies to those of Roman crucifixions.

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean,” Armendariz said. “They’d go into 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. And so you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not compliant with the law”

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who was the first to highlight the comments that lead to Armendariz’s resignation, congratulated the former EPA official on his new position.

“I would like to congratulate Dr. Armendariz for his new job as a key player in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign,” Senator Inhofe said in a statement. “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. (RELATED: Full coverage of the EPA)

Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, further noted that Armendariz has followed in the footsteps of other administration activists.

“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,” he said. “Don’t forget that the Sierra Club has endorsed President Obama, and several EPA officials have publicly admitted that they are working hand and glove with far-left green groups to end fossil fuel development in America.”

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