Four more congressmen call for EPA official’s head over ‘crucify’ comments
Following in the footsteps of three of their colleagues, Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson and Louisiana Republican Reps. Steve Scalise, Rodney Alexander, and Charles Boustany are calling for the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz.
“Administrator Armendariz has demonstrated a pattern of hostility toward the oil and gas industry in Texas,” Olson said. “The abuse of power has gone on long enough. Apparently, it didn’t satisfy him to deny Texas the opportunity to manage its own air permitting or oil and gas development. His recently revealed comments demonstrate his desire to rule by fear and intimidation. Texans deserve better — it’s time for Administrator Armendariz to be replaced.”
Armendariz came underfire Wednesday following a Senate floor speech by Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe in which he highlighted comments the Obama-appointed official made in 2010 in which he spoke of a “crucify them” enforcement policy for oil and gas producers.
“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,” 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’d crucify them,” Armendariz continued. “And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law.”
“There should be no place for radical bureaucrats who abuse their position to carry out a reckless liberal agenda instead of simply enforcing the rules,” Scalise added. “The fact Mr. Armendariz thinks it his role to ‘crucify’ American employers shows that he lacks the impartiality that his taxpayer-funded position demands, and he needs to step down.”
According to Scalise, Armendariz’s comments are part of the Obama administration’s “pattern of anti-business activity” and not “an isolated instance.”
Spokesmen told TheDC that both Alexander and Boustany believe it is time for Armendariz to go.
Earlier in the day Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe and Louisiana Republican Reps. John Fleming and Jeff Landry called for Armendariz’s resignation.
Armendariz has apologized for his comments.
Matthew Boyle contributed to this report.
Follow Caroline on Twitter