About a month ago, EPA regional official Al Armendariz made news when a YouTube video of him describing the way the agency handles oil and gas companies surfaced. In it, Armendariz said an analogy he liked to use about enforcement was how the Romans used crucifixion to keep smaller towns and villages under their thumb. Since then, Armendariz has resigned his post at the EPA. Case closed, right? Wrong.
A local North Carolina man named Larry Keller didn’t particularly like the analogy that Al Armendariz used, so, along with thousands of others assumably, he set about to contact Mr. Armendariz to discuss his views on the oil and gas industries. One of our basic rights and privileges in a free society is to be able to petition our government for a redress of grievances without fear of repercussion from said government simply for voicing our grievance.
Keller proceeded to try and contact Mr. Armendariz by Googling him. His domain was a subset of Southern Methodist University, he was directed to contact a Dr. David Gray who is the Director of External Affairs for the EPA. Keller wrote a simple, one sentence email to Dr. Gray which said simply, “Hello Mr. Gray-Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello?”
On May 2nd, just a little over a week after the Armendariz crucify comments had flared up, two special agents from the EPA and a local police officer showed up at Mr. Keller’s home. Here is the story in his own words:
On Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at about 1:45PM two Special Agents from the EPA and an armed police officer who stood 6’6” tall visited our house in Asheville, NC. Their visit was a total surprise as we had not received any communications requesting an appointment. The agents presented very official looking badges and asked if we could sit and chat awhile. We moved to the back porch and took our seats with the exception of the armed officer who stood by the door to the house the entire time.
Read more at EPAabuse.com. By Shannon Bell.