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House Calls for Hearings on Crucify Them Philosophy
April 30, 2012

Posted by Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov 

House Calls for Hearings on "Crucify Them" Philosophy

Roundup of Latest News Over EPA Administrator's Crucifixion Agenda

Check this site for updates as the Armendariz "Crucify Them" Story Unfolds...

Link to Inhofe Speech (Video)

WATCH Highlights from "Crucify" Coverage on the Inhofe YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JimInhofePressOffice

Inhofe on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inhofepress

Congressional Hearings

The Hill: House GOP wants to haul EPA official before Congress over 'crucify' comments: House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans want an Environmental Protection Agency official to testify on his 2010 comments comparing enforcement of air pollution laws to crucifixion.??Republicans pounced this week on EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz's comments soon after Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) drew attention to them in a Wednesday floor speech... "[T]he Committee anticipates that it will request your presence at a hearing in the near future to examine enforcement priorities and practices of the agency," the committee Republicans wrote to Armendariz in a letter Friday.??The letter notes that the committee invited Armendariz to testify at a field hearing in Texas last year, but EPA clean air chief Gina McCarthy testified in his place.??The lawmakers suggest that they would consider subpoenaing Armendariz if he declines to testify.??"As this will be our second request to have you appear before our Committee, and in light of the seriousness of the concerns that need to be addressed, the Committee is prepared to use all authorities at its disposal to ensure your attendance," the letter says.??The letter also seeks information about the agency's enforcement practices.? Read More: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/224343-house-gop-wants-to-haul-epa-official-before-congress-over-crucify-comments

Calls For Resignation

Daily Caller: More than half of congressmen in EPA Region 6 seek removal of ‘crucify them' official: Twenty nine of the 42 representatives in the states contained within EPA's Region 6 - as well as Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King and Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks - are pushing for the removal of Al Armendariz from his post as EPA Region 6 Administrator for his "crucify them" enforcement philosophy against U.S. oil and gas companies. Rep. Mike Conaway announced a letter Friday calling on EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to relieve Armendariz from his position. The letter was signed by all the Republican House members from the Texas delegation as well as New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, King, and Franks. Region 6 serves Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and 66 Native American tribes. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/27/more-than-half-of-congressmen-in-epa-region-6-seek-removal-of-crucify-them-official/#ixzz1tODvZAsR 

Wall Street Journal Editorial: 'Crucify Them': An EPA bureaucrat lets the mask slip: It's no secret that the bosses at the Environmental Protection Agency hate fossil fuels. But few are as candid as Al Armendariz, the regional administrator who says the agency's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" oil and gas producers. That's how EPA chief Lisa Jackson's point man for Texas, Oklahoma and other south-central states put it in 2010 lecture. Mr. Armendariz explains that his staff's "philosophy of enforcement" is "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." The point is to "make examples" of alleged lawbreakers. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe released video of the speech on Wednesday as part of his investigation into the EPA's now-discredited claims of water contamination due to hydraulic fracturing, including in Parker County, Texas. In that case Mr. Armendariz's shop targeted Range Resources, a driller that has since been exonerated, and his remarks about executions raise questions not only about his own work but the EPA's larger impartiality and judgment.Julius Caesar probably would have suggested a different remedy, but Mr. Armendariz's resignation would suffice. Read More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577368292876696550.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Investor's Business Daily Editorial: The EPA's 'Crucify' Politics On Energy Development:  An EPA official who apparently made good on a threat to "crucify" an oil company to make the entire energy industry "easy to manage" should resign or be fired. So why is the White House protecting him? EPA regional administrator for Dallas Al Armendariz told a city council meeting in a taped speech two years ago that his "philosophy" of enforcement was to single out an oil company, punish it "as hard as you can," and make an example of it to scare others into submission."The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean," said Armendariz. "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."...But incredibly, the White House, already mired in scandals involving other abuses of power in other agencies, has said Armendariz would stay. "I think he's apologized, and what he's said is clearly not representative of either the president's belief" or EPA practices, said White House spokesman Jay Carney. In light of the evidence telling another story, the only conclusion is that Armendariz is doing exactly what the White House wants. He just made the error of saying it.The White House has blocked drilling in U.S. waters, halted the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and sent regulators out like flying monkeys to harass the oil and gas industry. Why it's protecting this lawless regulator with a grotesque "philosophy" bears investigating, too. Read more: http://news.investors.com/articleprint/609419/201204261900/white-house-protects-epa-official-who-would-crucify-oil-companies.aspx

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

Washington Post: Jackson "Distanced Herself" " Continue To Review" the Case Friday: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson distanced herself Friday from comments by a top agency official who told a Texas community two years ago that his approach to enforcement was to make an example of polluters the way Romans crucified people to quash rebellions... "Frankly, [the comments] were inflammatory but also wrong," Jackson said Friday when asked about a YouTube video discovered this week by Oklahoma Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe's staff. "They don't comport with either this administration's policy on energy, our policy at EPA on environmental enforcement, nor do they comport with our record as well." She noted that Armendariz has apologized for what he called a "poor choice of words." Jackson said she will "continue to review" the case. But she stopped short of saying he will resign and declined to say whether he faces discipline. Read More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/epa-administrator-rejects-officials-crucifixion-comments/2012/04/27/gIQAHCLdmT_story.html

White House

CNN: EPA official blasted over 'crucify' oil and gas comments: The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency are distancing themselves from controversial remarks that surfaced this week by a regional administrator attacking the oil and gas industry. In a video made in 2010, Al Armendariz, who heads the EPA's Dallas office, suggested his approach to dealing with noncompliant oil and gas companies is "like when the Romans conquered the villages in the Mediterranean, they'd go into little villages in Turkish towns and they'd find the first five guys they saw and crucify them."...The EPA did not respond to multiple attempts from CNN to answer questions regarding Armendariz's future with the agency, whether he'll face disciplinary action or if EPA Chief Lisa Jackson has spoken with him directly. Read More: http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/26/politics/epa-comments/

ABC NEWS: The White House today distanced itself from comments made by a regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in which he suggested government officials should take lessons from ancient Romans and "crucify" people not complying with environmental laws. In a 2010 video brought to light by frequent EPA foe Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., EPA Region VI Administrator Al Almendariz said that he gave the following analogy to his staff about his "philosophy of enforcement," which he acknowledged being crude and perhaps inappropriate, but shared anyway:  "It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer villages in the Mediterranean - they'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere and they'd find the first five guys they saw, they'd crucify ‘em, and that little town was really easy to manage for the next few years." Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/white-house-says-epa-officials-crucify-comments-are-inaccurate/

About Armendariz

Daily Caller: EPA ‘crucify' official received $540k in federal taxpayer-funded research grants: EPA official who bragged about his "crucify them" enforcement philosophy against oil and gas companies - a story The Daily Caller was the first to report on Wednesday - has collected or shared in at least $540,522 in taxpayer dollars from the federal government to fund environmental projects that stretched from 2004 to 2010. President Barack Obama appointed Alfredo "Al" Armendariz as the administrator for EPA's South Central Region (Region 6) in Nov. 2009. Since his appointment he has been a thorn in the side of energy producers. The "Obama-appointed" label often indicates a movement liberal, and the former Southern Methodist University professor's Web pages - still hosted on SMU's website and divided into "teaching," "research," and "clean air community service" - indicate both his past environmental activism and the grant money he has collected to carry it out. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/27/epa-crucify-official-received-540k-in-federal-taxpayer-funded-research-grants/#ixzz1tO6tgIL2

Forbes: EPA Official Not Only Touted 'Crucifying' Oil Companies, He Tried It And not only has Armendariz talked about crucifying oil companies, he's tried to do it. In 2010 his office targeted Range Resources, a Fort Worth-based driller that was among the first to discover the potential of the Marcellus Shale gas field of Pennsylvania - the biggest gas field in America and one of the biggest in the world. Armendariz's office declared in an emergency order that Range's drilling activity had contaminated groundwater in Parker County, Texas. Armendariz's office insisted that Range's hydraulic fracking activity had caused the pollution and ordered Range to remediate the water. The EPA's case against Range was catnip for the environmental fracktivists who insist with religious zealotry that fracking is evil. Range insisted from the beginning that there was no substance to the allegations. The Armendriz video (which appears to have been taken off YouTube late late night) was shot around the same time he was preparing the action against Range... The former professor at Southern Methodist University is a diehard environmentalist, having grown up in El Paso near a copper smelter that reportedly belched arsenic-laced clouds into the air. (Here's a profile of him in the Dallas Observer.) Texas Monthly called him one of the 25 most powerful Texans, while the Houston Chronicle said he's "the most feared environmentalist in the state." Nevermind that he couldn't prove jack against Range. For a year and a half EPA bickered over the issue, both with Range and with the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas drilling and did its own scientific study of Range's wells and found no evidence that they polluted anything. In recent months a federal judge slapped the EPA, decreeing that the agency was required to actually do some scientific investigation of wells before penalizing the companies that drilled them. Finally in March the EPA withdrew its emergency order and a federal court dismissed the EPA's case. Read More: http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/04/26/epa-official-not-only-touted-crucifying-oil-companies-he-tried-it/

Video Take Down

Politico: YouTube yanks EPA 'crucify' video: Sen. Jim Inhofe's staff wants to know more about why YouTube took down a video that showed an EPA regional admi­­­­­­­­nistrator comparing the agency's enforcement philosophy to Roman crucifixions. The takedown, which POLITICO noticed early Friday, apparently took place at the behest of a "citizen media" activist who had originally posted the video on YouTube, Inhofe spokesman Matt Dempsey said by email. Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75678.html#ixzz1tO8XpfjJ

Hot Air: Whodunit: The case of the missing EPA "crucifixion" video: YouTube routinely pulls videos any time there is a copyright complaint [see update II below for clarification as to why], but even a cursory examination in this case would show it to be spurious.  The clip used by Inhofe's office was a brief part of a longer clip, involved a government official discussing public policy, and the clip was used for editorial purposes, not just for republication.  It's called "fair use," and this is precisely the circumstances intended for the fair-use exception to copyrights. Furthermore, it seems doubly ironic that a so-called "citizen media activist" would suddenly fight against openness and transparency.  Isn't that the whole point of citizen-media activism?   Their YouTube page brags that they bring viewers "videos that you will not see in the Corporate Media."  Well, congratulations - you found one that scooped the "Corporate Media"!  And .... now McFatridge wants it hidden?  Hmmmm.  It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that McFatridge didn't realize just how people would react to a high-ranking EPA official bragging about crucifying taxpayers, and got embarrassed when it created a firestorm. Read More: http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/27/whodunit-the-case-of-the-missing-epa-crucifixion-video/

EPA Apology

AP: EPA official apologizes for use of word 'crucify': Armendariz's apology was issued Wednesday by the EPA's headquarters in Washington. "I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words. It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation's environmental laws," he said. "I am always and have been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws." Cynthia Giles, the assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance, also issued a statement. "Strong, fair and effective enforcement of the environmental laws passed by Congress is critical to protecting public health and ensuring that all companies, regardless of industry, are playing by the same rules," she wrote. Read More http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/epa-official-apologizes-word-crucify-16222009#.T56gd9lmQtE

CNS News: The EPA official who said his agency's "philosophy" is to "crucify" oil and gas companies apologized for his comments on Wednesday night. But, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who exposed the comments, says the apology falls far short. "I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words," Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz said yesterday:  "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." Sen. Inhofe, who has launched an investigation into the EPA's "crucify" philosophy, said today that Administrator Armendariz apologized for his words, but not for EPA's actions: "Administrator Armendariz apologized yesterday for his 'poor choice of words' when he admitted that EPA's 'general philosophy' is to 'crucify' and 'make examples' of oil and gas companies, but he did not apologize for EPA's actions towards its apparent crucifixion victims. Read More: http://cnsnews.com/node/538800

Obama Administration's Agenda

RightSideNews: Krauthammer: EPA administrator's ‘crucify' remarks a perfect choice of words: Like most of us, Krauthammer isn't buying the apology made by Armendariz over his ‘crucify' remarks or Carney's spin on it today. He says it wasn't a poor choice of words, but rather a perfect choice of words and it accurately depicts how the EPA has treated the oil and gas industry. Read More: http://www.therightscoop.com/krauthammer-epa-administrators-crucify-remarks-a-perfect-choice-of-words/

WashingtonTimes Editorial: Obama crucifies business: EPA issued no press release highlighting the fracking exoneration. "They hope they can admit they were wrong quietly," Mr. Inhofe said. "But we're not going to let them get away with it." Americans might not be happy should they learn by November that such sordid tactics are contributing to their pain at the pump. Read More: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/25/obama-crucifies-business/

Malkin: One of President Obama's radical eco-bureaucrats has apologized for confirming an indelible truth: This White House treats politically incorrect private industries as public enemies who deserve regulatory death sentences. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Al Armendariz, an avowed greenie on leave from Southern Methodist University, gave a little-noticed speech in 2010 outlining his sadistic philosophy. "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," he began. In a video obtained and released by Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Armendariz then shared his bloody analogy: 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. Echoing President Obama's "punch back twice as hard" treatment of his political enemies, Armendariz explained to his underlings: "You hit them as hard as you can, and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don't want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it's time to clean up." Read More: http://michellemalkin.com/2012/04/27/crucify-them-its-the-obama-way/

Beauprez with Town Hall: The Obama Administration is dismissive of Armendariz's revelation, but others see it as exposing the real agenda.   Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana, where thousands of jobs have been lost due to the heavy handed moratorium imposed in the gulf by the Obama Administration, nailed it.  "The use of threats and intimidation to force energy companies to submit to an extremist agenda may be fitting under a totalitarian regime, but it is never acceptable in the United States," Fleming said. Inhofe cites some hard evidence of the EPA's regulatory hard ball.  Despite a natural gas boom on private land, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports natural gas sales of production from federal lands are down 17% since 2008, Inhofe said in a recent Senate floor speech.  Investor's Business Daily connected the dots correctly in a scathing - and accurate - editorial, "the only conclusion is that Armendariz is doing exactly what the White House wants.  He just made the error of saying it."  We agree. Read More: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/bobbeauprez/2012/04/29/white_house_shrugs_off_crucify_them_comments/page/full/

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