Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies – just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.
Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies.
In the video, Administrator Armendariz says:
“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:
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.
“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
“It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans’ philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.
Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:
“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.
“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”
In his Senate speech, Sen. Inhofe said the video provides Americans with “a glimpse of the Obama administration’s true agenda.”
That agenda, Inhofe said, is to “incite fear” in the public with unsubstantiated claims and “intimidate” oil and gas companies with threats of unjustified fines and penalties – then, quietly backtrack once the public’s perception has been firmly jaded against oil and natural gas.
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has launched an investigation into the Obama-EPA’s apparent “crucify them” and “incite fear” strategies targeted at American energy producers. This investigation will look into EPA’s actions towards domestic energy production specifically in light of the agency’s recent efforts relating to hydraulic fracturing.
Inhofe’s first move was to send a letter of inquiry To EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking for answers regarding an emergency order issued by EPA Region 6, which it justified by making unfounded claims that “houses could explode.”
After the region’s EPA administrator incited public fear in interviews by repeatedly warning of the “danger of fires and explosions,” the emergency order was quietly rescinded – but, the damage to public perception had already been done, Inhofe says.
“Parker, County Texas could be the most outrageous of the three cases and it took place in Region 6 where my home state of Oklahoma is located,” Inhofe said today in a Senate speech announcing the investigation.
Inhofe described how EPA Region 6 issued an Emergency Administrative Order overriding Texas state regulators actively investigating the claim hydraulic fracturing was contaminating well water.
“Along with this order, EPA went on a publicity barrage in an attempt to publicize its premature and unjustified conclusions,” Inhofe said.
In interviews, Regional Administrator Al Armendariz “made comments specifically intended to incite fear and sway public option against hydraulic fracturing” in which he cited multiple times a “danger of fire or explosion,” Inhofe said.
“When state regulators were made aware of EPA’s actions, they made it clear they felt the agency was proceeding prematurely to which Armendariz forwarded their reply to headquarters with a single-word message, ‘Stunning.'”
The EPA then “not only stepped backed their assertions but did so with a stunning lack of transparency strategically attempting to make these announcements as quietly as possible and at times they knew Congress wouldn’t be looking,” Inhofe says.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) will also investigate any connection of these tactics to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies – just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.
The EPA’s agenda, Inhofe said, is to “incite fear” in the public with unsubstantiated claims and “intimidate” oil and gas companies with threats of unjustified fines and penalties – then, quietly backtrack once the public’s perception has been jaded against oil and natural gas.
In his letter to Lisa Jackson, Sen. Inhofe asks the EPA chief:
“Do you believe it is appropriate for the Regional Administrator to make statements in which the Agency has ‘determined’ that due to a company’s actions, “houses could explode’ despite evidence known to Agency staff which would reasonably preclude such an outcome?”
Inhofe also questions Jackson to determine if these types of actions such are evidence of “the Agency’s preconceived conclusions and increasingly apparent political activism in an ever-intensifying pursuit to link hydraulic fracturing to groundwater contamination.”