Armed EPA Agents?


“The North Carolina man visited by armed EPA agents after sending an email to a controversial agency official says he not satisfied with the explanations about what he considers an excessive response and that he wants changes to agency policies and procedures.” Wait. What? What did Larry Keller do, threaten not to recycle? “The incident unfolded after Keller sent an email April 27 to the EPA to try to reach Al Armendariz — a regional administrator who was under fire for a YouTube video post days earlier in which he said his enforcement strategy was to ‘crucify’ executives from big oil and gas companies [not exactly, video above]. The letter to an EPA external affairs director read “Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello? – Regards- Larry Keller.” And then . . .

The agents visited Keller’s home in Ashville, N.C. on May 2 to ask him about the email, which after some misunderstanding Keller acknowledged sending. He said after a brief, tense discussion about whether the missive might seem suspicious, the agents, who were escorted by the local police, left despite Keller ask them to stay to his wife could witness their visit.

“The charter of the EPA is to protect the environment and public, not to act as a quasi federal police department,” Keller said Saturday.

So, while the EPA agents weren’t carrying guns, they were escorted by gun-toting local cops. Close enough. And for what? If this account is accurate, Keller’s email doesn’t even come close to meeting the criteria for “making a terroristic threat” (a law that ought to be shot).

A regional EPA official told Keller the agency was following up on his email, considering its timing and the number of threats against Armendariz.

Yeah, sure. Following-up. Just a friendly little social call.

As for the initial “misunderstanding” about the email, that’s easy to understand. I wouldn’t put my hands up to emailing anything to anyone in front of law enforcement agents without first talking to my lawyer. EPA or FBI, STFU. [h/t percynjpn]