Posted by Katie Brown 

"It is not just Armendariz" - "Crucify" official resignation doesn't quiet critics - "continue pressing the EPA for answers"

Inhofe EPW Press News Roundup

WATCH:  "In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater," Jackson told Fox News on Friday. - EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Friday, April 27

Inhofe April 25, 2012 Letter to Jackson on Range Resources

Daily Caller: Inhofe on ‘crucify' EPA official's resignation: ‘It is not just Armendariz': "It is not just Armendariz. There are a lot of other Armendarizes around," Inhofe told TheDC, explaining the problem has not been solved with the Region 6 administrator's exit. "We watch these guys. We get the complaints from people who are being run out of business by the EPA, and he's one but there are several others also," he said. Inhofe added that his investigation into the manner the EPA dealings with oil and gas companies - particularly those engaged in hydraulic fracturing - will continue. The Oklahoma senator's investigation will include a look into how the EPA treated Range Resources - the Fort Worth-based drilling company that the EPA imposed an expensive emergency order on alleging water contamination on the part of the company, only to withdraw the order 15 months later. He noted, however, that there are many companies that have not been able to fight the EPA's mandates."The big question nobody talks about is, what about all those companies that didn't fight it? ‘$33,000 a day? I'm out of business.' How many companies today are out of business because they just couldn't stand up to them?" he said. Read more:

Oklahoman: Inhofe says EPA official was right to resign over crucifixion comments: Inhofe has accused the Obama administration of waging a war on fossil fuels and charged last week that the EPA targeted hydraulic fracturing - in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into a well to free oil and gas from rock formations - as a way to slow the boom in energy exploration in the United States. Inhofe said Monday that Armendariz was "just being honest" with his crucifixion comments and that his resignation "in no way solves the problem of President Obama and his EPA's crucifixion philosophy." Inhofe said he would continue pressing the EPA for answers on why the agency had accused three companies of contaminating water but then "quietly walked back their accusations" when they had no definitive evidence. Read more:

National Journal: "Armendariz's resignation won't end the clamor from Inhofe":  Inhofe has been investigating EPA's actions in Texas for quite some time. The senator's much-publicized floor speech was a response to EPA actions in three states (Wyoming, Texas, and Pennsylvania) regarding natural gas drilling. In all three of those states, EPA intervened in state authority to assess hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a controversial method to extract natural gas. And in all three cases, EPA later withdrew when it was determined that no wrongdoing or water contamination (a concern with hydraulic fracturing) had been found. "In no case have we made a definitive determination that the fracking process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater," Jackson told Fox News on Friday. Inhofe said on Monday he will continue his investigation into why EPA intervened-and then subsequently backed out-in those three states. Read More

WashingtonPost: EPA official who compared enforcement to crucifixion resigns: But it appeared unlikely that the departure of Alfredo Juan "Al" Armendariz - who had served as EPA administrator for Region VI, encompassing Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma - would quell Republican attacks targeting the EPA during an election year. GOP lawmakers have seized upon his comments, made during a May 2010 speech in Dish, Tex., and captured on video, as an example of what they say are administration efforts to curtail U.S. energy development. Read More

Politico: 'Crucify' official resignation doesn't quiet critics: This isn't the first Obama environmental official to be forced out the door. Van Jones, a green jobs adviser in the White House Council on Environmental Quality, became conservative cable news catnip in 2009 after he made controversial comments about congressional Republicans and his name appeared on a petition calling for hearings into whether the government was responsible in some way for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Jones resigned that September. Here, the public debate over Armendariz's remarks, coming in the heat of Obama's reelection campaign, has also gotten intense. White House press secretary Jay Carney and Jackson distanced themselves from Armendariz's comments last week, while Jared Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, called them "absolutely reprehensible." Read More

Bloomberg: "cozy relationship with environmentalists...": Before the notice was issued, the top official in Texas for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alerted health advocates that an emergency order was being issued against gas-driller Range Resources Corp. (RRC)  "We're about to make a lot of news," Al Armendariz, who resigned yesterday as administrator for EPA Region 6 in Dallas, wrote in the 2010 e-mail. "Thank you all for your continued support and friendship." For critics, the advance word is just one example of a cozy relationship with environmentalists, ties they say led Armendariz to be an adversary to the oil and gas industry and a symbol of what lobbyists say is a hostile administration. Before he took over in 2009, a study he wrote said drilling is the major cause of air pollution in Dallas, a finding disputed by industry and state regulators. He had a cameo in the anti-hydraulic fracturing movie "Gasland" and was promoted to President Barack Obama by environmentalists, who said the civil engineering professor from Southern Methodist University would be tough on polluters. He quit yesterday after comments from a 2010 video surfaced in which he linked regulation and crucifixion. Read More