Published: 6:58 p.m. Monday, April 30, 2012
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is right to investigate the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement strategy, which one EPA official described as a philosophy to “crucify” oil and gas companies.
In a Senate floor speech last week, Inhofe drew attention to a video of Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies, like the Romans crucified random citizens to ensure obedience from other townspeople.
Armendariz’s inflammatory rhetoric revealed a clear, inappropriate bias from a federal regulator and recent, alarming actions by the EPA warrant Congressional attention.
Armendariz resigned Monday in the wake of his statements, but his departure does not alleviate concerns regarding the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies’ dealings the oil and gas industry in recent years.
In fact, actions by the EPA, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all suggest a federal undercurrent to undermine the oil and natural gas industry, which promotes our nation’s energy independence, provides millions of jobs and pays billions in taxes.
The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, is to protect human health and the environment.
EPA administrators should bring balanced, science-based professionalism to the job because EPA actions have a direct impact not only on the public’s health and the environment but also on hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas and beyond.
Nowhere in the EPA’s mission does it call for use of baseless accusations, scare tactics or fear-mongering to pursue its charge. Sadly, all three have become commonplace at the EPA.
The spirit of Armendariz’s pledge to “crucify” oil and gas companies has played out in EPA actions across the board for years.
Showing disregard for wasted taxpayer dollars, the EPA has repeatedly overstepped its authority and worked to create sensational headlines, only to quietly retreat when the facts don’t support its accusations.
The recent withdrawal of the EPA’s emergency order against Range Resources in Texas is just the latest in this EPA trend of attacking
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