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LISTEN: Inhofe Responds to Armendariz Bailing From House Hearing
June 6, 2012

Posted by Matt Dempsey matt_dempsey@epw.senate.gov

In the News...

 Inhofe Responds to Armendariz Bailing From House Hearing

New Inhofe Video: Video Shines Light on Obama-EPA Green "Way of Life" Agenda http://youtu.be/LQ6NsH2Qros

NOTE: Democratic Aide Says Inhofe Video Reason Armendariz Bailed on Hearing: Tuesday's decision came the same day that Armendariz's nemesis Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) escalated his attack on EPA by releasing a video featuring statements by President Barack Obama and three of the agency's current regional chiefs, along with Armendariz. The statements in the video, about energy and EPA regulations, are signs of Obama's "war on oil and natural gas," Inhofe's office said.The video was released "in preparation for" Armendariz's testimony, Inhofe's office wrote.One of the administrators showcased on Tuesday, Curt Spalding in EPA's New England office, was also the subject of a video that Inhofe's office had released Monday, in which Spalding talked about the problem the agency's greenhouse gas rule would pose for coal country.Neither of this week's videos had the incendiary power of the original one that Inhofe's released in April, which prompted Armendariz's resignation a few days later. But they were probably the reason Armendariz canceled, a Democratic aide said Tuesday night. "If I'm Al, I look at this and say ... ‘I was going to be a sacrificial lamb so we could move on,'" the aide said. But now, "‘It's obvious that this is larger than me -  that this is a witch hunt to go after any EPA official.'" "The point is that if he showed up, yes it would be a blood bath," but it would be worth it if Armendariz then was allowed to leave the controversy behind him, the aide said. The aide added that Inhofe "made a mistake" by releasing the new videos just before the hearing.

Politico Pro

Armendariz bails on hearing as Inhofe escalates assault on EPA

By Erica Martinson and Darren Goode

6/5/12 9:11 PM EDT

The former EPA regional chief who used the word "crucify" to explain his enforcement philosophy won't be in the House to explain his words Wednesday.

An attorney for Al Armendariz called the committee at about 4 p.m. Tuesday to cancel Armendariz's scheduled appearance at an Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, subpanel Chairman Ed Whitfield told POLITICO that evening.

The former Region 6 administrator's attorney "simply said that he would not be attending," said Whitfield, who said the hearing will go on without him. "And we're going to talk a lot about him and we're going to decide what, if anything, we're going to do a little bit later," the Kentucky Republican added.

Tuesday's decision came the same day that Armendariz's nemesis Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) escalated his attack on EPA by releasing a video featuring statements by President Barack Obama and three of the agency's current regional chiefs, along with Armendariz. The statements in the video, about energy and EPA regulations, are signs of Obama's "war on oil and natural gas," Inhofe's office said.

The video was released "in preparation for" Armendariz's testimony, Inhofe's office wrote.

One of the administrators showcased on Tuesday, Curt Spalding in EPA's New England office, was also the subject of a video that Inhofe's office had released Monday, in which Spalding talked about the problem the agency's greenhouse gas rule would pose for coal country.

Neither of this week's videos had the incendiary power of the original one that Inhofe's released in April, which prompted Armendariz's resignation a few days later. But they were probably the reason Armendariz canceled, a Democratic aide said Tuesday night.

"If I'm Al, I look at this and say ... ‘I was going to be a sacrificial lamb so we could move on,'" the aide said. But now, "‘It's obvious that this is larger than me -  that this is a witch hunt to go after any EPA official.'"

"The point is that if he showed up, yes it would be a blood bath," but it would be worth it if Armendariz then was allowed to leave the controversy behind him, the aide said.

The aide added that Inhofe "made a mistake" by releasing the new videos just before the hearing.

Armendariz's attorney, Danny Onorato of the D.C.-based firm Schertler & Onorato, declined to comment late Tuesday. An EPA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Whitfield and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) issued a joint statement saying they are "extremely disappointed" that Armendariz will not appear.

"Tomorrow's hearing will continue without Armendariz, and we expect compelling testimony from the other witnesses describing concerns with EPA's aggressive enforcement and regulatory actions," they said.

A source close to the administration said Armendariz did not notify EPA of his plans to cancel his testimony.

Darren Samuelsohn contributed to this report.





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