- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
EPA official apologizes for viral ‘crucify’ quip
Bragged in video of toughness toward energy industry
A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency apologized Thursday after being caught on video bragging that his agency’s method of enforcing oil and gas regulations was to find a few bad actors to “crucify” and hold up as examples.
“I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words,” Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz said in a statement, issued only after his 2010 comments were revealed to the public. “It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws. I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws.”
Mr. Armendariz, whose oil-rich region includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, made the comments at a Texas town hall meeting two years ago. The “crucify” quip went virtually unnoticed until Wednesday afternoon, when Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, quoted Mr. Armendariz during a half-hour speech on the Senate floor.
That same day, Mr. Inhofe, a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s energy policy, launched an investigation into the EPA and what he calls its strategy of using “fear” and “intimidation” to keep drilling companies in line and to convince the public that they are serious dangers to the environment.
Like many other Republicans and oil- and gas-sector leaders, Mr. Inhofe also says President Obama has launched “a war on fossil fuels,” but tries to keep that assault under wraps by using little-seen regulations while publicly extolling oil and natural gas in such venues as his most recent State of the Union address.
“What he has attempted to do is kill oil, gas and coal but do it in a way that the American people won’t be aware of it,” Mr. Inhofe said. EPA officials “are able to scare people, intimidate people, and these are the very people who are hiring people and doing what’s necessary to run this machine called America.”
It shows Mr. Armendariz, appointed by Mr. Obama, apparently responding to a question about the agency’s enforcement capacity and its ability to make sure oil and gas drilling firms are following federal rules and regulations.
“I was in a meeting once, and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said,” Mr. Armendariz said. “It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean.
They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. So, that’s our general philosophy.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- High court likely to allow Obama's clean-air rules
- Funding boost of $100M for mentally ill a 'small step'
- White House PR blitz hits states that rejected Medicaid expansion
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Robert Griffin III surprised at being benched by Mike Shanahan
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow