Third congressman calls for EPA official’s resignation over ‘crucify them’ comments

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Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe became the third congressman to call for EPA Region Six Administrator Al Armendariz’s resignation Thursday evening.

“The comments made by Administrator Armendariz back in 2010 confirm what we’ve known all along: the EPA’s crusade to destroy the oil and gas industry is a politically premeditated effort, not one meant to protect the environment,” Poe said. “Administrator Armendariz’s words reflect his disdain for the oil and gas industry and make clear that his decisions are made without an ounce of impartiality. He should be fired.”

Armendariz made headlines Wednesday following a Senate floor speech by Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe in which he highlighted a 2010 speech by the Obama-appointed official. In that speech Armendariz 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.”

According to Poe, the EPA’s aggressive attitude — “targeting, intimidating, and vilifying” — toward the energy industry has increased the cost of energy and caused job losses.

“The oil and gas industry accounts for 9.2 million jobs in the United States. ‘Making examples’ of this field has put American jobs in jeopardy,” Poe added. “Ironically, Mr. Armendariz’s oversees the EPA’s efforts in Texas, which has been hit especially hard. Oil and gas and related industries make up nearly a quarter of the Texas economy. An assault on oil and gas is an assault on Texas.”

Armendariz apologized for his comments late Wednesday, but that didn’t stop Louisiana Republican Reps. Jeff Landry and John Fleming from also demanding his resignation Thursday.

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