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Video Shines Light on Obama-EPA Green Way of Life Agenda
June 5, 2012

Posted by Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov

Video Shines Light on Obama-EPA Green "Way of Life" Agenda

Billions of Dollars for Green Energy, "Crucify" Oil and Gas, "Painful Every Step of the Way"

 In preparation for Obama-EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz's testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released his latest video showcasing a number of Obama EPA Regional Administrators longing to impose a green "way of life act" on Americans through the regulatory regime of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Video Shines Light on Obama-EPA Green "Way of Life" Agenda

In their own words, these regional administrators dream of pouring billions of dollars into green energy firms like Solyndra, crucifying American energy producers, and forcing a regulatory agenda to kill coal that will be "painful every step of the way."

Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal perhaps put it best when she wrote that Armendariz was "a perfect general for Mr. Obama's war against natural gas" and "on the front lines" of his efforts to end fossil fuels and affordable energy.  But it's not just Armendariz: the purpose of this video is to get to know President Obama's "green generals" - the regional administrators - who are going into battle for the Obama-EPA, working hard to force a green "way of life act" in regions across the United States - all while President Obama tries to distance himself as much as possible from his administration's agenda which is "painful every step of the way" as the election approaches.

Our video begins with President Obama's campaign stop in the heart of oil and gas country, as he tries to take credit for the recent oil and gas boom, pretending to be for an "all-of-the-above" energy approach:

President Obama: "Yesterday I visited Nevada and New Mexico to talk about what we are calling an ‘all of the above' energy strategy. It's a strategy that will keep us on track to further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, put more people back to work, and ultimately help to curb this spike in gas prices that we are seeing year after year after year. So today I've come to Cushing, an oil town. Because producing more oil and gas here at home has been and will continue to be a critical part of an all of the above energy strategy."

Yet not long after President Obama visited Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe put the spotlight on a video of former Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz admitting that EPA's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of oil and gas companies:

Former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz: "But as I said, oil and gas is an enforcement priority, it's one of seven, so we are going to spend a fair amount of time looking at oil and gas production. And I gave, 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. 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."

Armendariz is not the only EPA Regional Administrator to tell us the truth about the Obama-EPA's war on American fossil fuel development. As Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld explains:

EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld: "What EPA and primarily the Department of Energy have been tasked to do at the agency level is really come out with transition pathways away from a fossil fuel economy, both for the peak oil reason and because of climate change, and because of all the other issues related to oil itself."

While Armendariz and Blumenfeld revealed the Obama-EPA's war on oil and natural gas, EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding let the cat out of the bag admitting that the agency consciously and deliberately made the decision to wage a war on coal.  EPA's coal regulations, he said, that will devastate coal communities across America, will be "painful every step of the way":

EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding: "But know right now, we are, we are struggling. We are struggling because we are trying to do our jobs. Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country. Just two days ago, the decision on greenhouse gas performance standard and saying basically gas plants are the performance standard which means if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem. That was a huge decision. You can't imagine how tough that was. Because you got to remember if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal. And to say that we just think those communities should just go away, we can't do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested. And it's painful. It's painful every step of the way."

And if those comments sound familiar it's because that's exactly what then candidate Obama said while running for President in 2008, when he wasn't so afraid to state his true intensions:

President Obama: "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant they can, its just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches."

While on one front, the Obama-EPA is busy crucifying American energy producers, a key part of this war on fossil fuels is, of course, to pour billions into green energy firms - and Obama's regional administrators have not been afraid to tout this agenda:

EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld:

Interviewer: Solyndra, the company in Freemont also, is getting a pretty big loan guarantee from the federal government and I guess that's causing other investors to be interested in them. What are they doing that's different and how did they get so far out in front that they get a loan guarantee of that size and they get a presidential visit?

Blumenfeld: "So Belva, a lot of people wondered where did all these billions of dollars for the Reinvestment Act, the stimulus package go, and a lot of it went to the Department of Energy and EPA, to promote clean technologies and bring people back to work and the Department of Energy did competitive bids we were just talking about the batteries for Tesla, there were U.S. companies that won that bid in Massachusetts. Here in California there's new technologies that do a number of things, they make solar panels more efficient so they get the process of converting sunlight into electricity better."

This same Solyndra that Administrator Blumenfeld said will "bring people back to work" and that President Obama said would lead us to a "brighter and more prosperous future" is famously bankrupt and an utter failure, yet EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck still maintains that the Obama-EPA is a "mean, green, job creation machine."

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck:  "So I think to quote one of my colleagues at EPA, EPA is a "mean green job creation machine" and is actually helping create local jobs where we need them most."

EPA may be "mean" but with air rules that will destroy 1.6 million American jobs and with greenhouse gas regulations that will cost $300 to $400 billion a year, killing jobs in all sectors of the economy, EPA is not exactly a "job creating machine." 

For all this economic pain, how much will a green "way of life" actually improve the environment?  Sure, it helps to live in a city and drive a Prius, but at the end of the day, Administrator Enck admits, this green agenda will have little overall effect:

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck:  "If I was politically correct, which I'm not, I would say that we all have a role to play as individuals, I do believe that, you know, and it's individuals using the force of the marketplace we can change corporate behavior, I don't think that really works. I think there are things we can do in terms of making smart consumer choices, but fundamentally we need the large emitters which is power plants, manufacturing, and the transportation sector to make a really substantial shift away from fossil fuels. You know, I drive a Prius, a hybrid car, that doesn't make a huge dent to be honest. I take mass transit most days of the week, that helps. You know, living in a city helps, but we're still pumping a whole lot of carbon into the environment even when we recycle and we compost and we shop at a food co-op and we use, you know, returnable packaging.  We've got a long way to go when you look at the numbers. I don't think individual change is going to be enough, I think individual change can make a huge difference but I don't think it's going to change the course on the climate equation."

But of all President Obama's green generals, former EPA Administrator Al Armendariz says it best. After proclaiming that EPA is out to "crucify" American oil and gas development, he laments that he does not have a "Way of Life Act" that he can enforce in the same way he can enforce the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act; but even so, he says, EPA isn't exactly "toothless":

Former EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz: "And so one of the really nice times of mine, one of the really special moments of being a regional administrator is about two weeks ago I was in Washington D.C. and I got the head of our enforcement group, her name is Cynthia Giles, and she is the director for all of EPA's enforcement activities and I got her in the room with some of her top staff and I showed her Gasland and that was something that was one of the really neat moments of me being a regional administrator to get her to sit down and watch that film. She is actually going to be down tomorrow. And we're actually as a staff going be taking her around to places like Dish and out in Wise County to show her what some of the communities that live in the areas where there is a lot of oil and gas production have to deal with. As I explained to Cynthia, I don't have a Way of Life Act that I can enforce. I've got a Clean Air Act, I've got a  Clean Water Act , Safe Drinking Water Act, and they all have certain rules, but I see what's happening in places like Dish and places really throughout the country when the voice of the people is, their way of life is being changed because of truck traffic, because of noise, because of water use, because of waste pits so there is a lot of activity going on; and a lot of those pieces by themselves might be legal. It's not illegal to have a whole lot of truck traffic on the road; it's not illegal to have a [inaudible] that might be a little bit noisy. And so you can go and you can see that a lot of what's happening might actually be very consistent with the law but if you pool all that together what you find is that there are communities, whether it's here in Texas or anywhere in the country, I know Mayor Tillman's been visiting a lot back east; their way of life has been radically changed and unfortunately I don't have a Way of Life Act I can enforce but at the same time EPA isn't toothless and we do have certain things that we can enforce with the Clean Air Act , the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and that's one of the reasons why Cynthia is going to be here tomorrow, she's gonna go around and take a look at some of the oil and gas facilities in the area."

President Obama claims to be for an "all of the above" approach to energy as he hits the campaign trail, yet these videos show us the truth: the Obama-EPA is more set on a green "way of life" that is "painful. Painful every step of the way." 

 

Full videos and dates can be found at:

 

Former EPA Regional Administrator AL Armendariz (Region 6)

Video From YouTube davidmcfatridge, http://www.youtube.com/user/davidmcfatridge?feature=watch

May, 2010

 

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld (Region 9)

Video from YouTube Channel momellady http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdBVaE9d4SA&feature=channel&list=UL

March 2010

 

EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding (Region 1)

Video from YouTube Channel bpmcamp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvS0DpI3SAo

March 30, 2012

 

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld (Region 9)

Video from YouTube Channel KQEDondemand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0SwCsaBO_Y

May 28, 2010

 

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck (Region 2)

Video from YouTube Channel GoodJobsGreenJobs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOJrYYYq3fI

April 10, 2012

 

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck (Region 2)

Video From YouTube Channel IrishEnvironmental

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjk-_C3sbls

June 30, 2011

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