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.
“Mr. Armendariz’s conduct and statements have so contaminated the well that his continued service in this office seems likely to be met with increasing hostility and resistance from the very people he is expected to work with and for,” the letter reads.
“We are deeply disappointed in not only the statements of Mr. Armendariz, but also the abrasive, hostile posture that his office has struck during his tenure. It is our recommendation that Mr. Armendariz be relieved of his position, effective immediately.”
In addition to the members who signed the letter, Oklahoma Republican Rep. James Lankford told TheDC that he would like Armendariz to resign as well. (RELATED: EPA ‘crucify’ official received $540k in taxpayer-funded research grants)
“Armendariz’s flippant and inflammatory remarks demonstrate an attitude of power and control from a federal agency that was formed to serve the American people, not ‘crucify’ them,” Lankford said. “The EPA has transitioned into an agency determined to destroy energy production, not help our nation develop our abundant domestic energy resources.”
“There is no place for this type of intimidation tactic in a civilized democracy. Unfortunately, it’s par for the course with this administration and is symbolic of its socialistic, anti-business policies that have crushed jobs and slowed our economic recovery,” Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul added in an emailed comment to TheDC.
Additionally Louisiana Republican Reps. John Fleming and Jeff Landry, and Louisiana Republican Reps. Steve Scalise, Rodney Alexander and Charles Boustany have called for Armendariz to resign.
Armendariz made headlines Wednesday following a Senate floor speech by Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe in which the senator highlighted a speech 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.”
Armendariz has since apologized.