04.30.2012 0

EPA official resigns over ‘crucify’ remark

Al Armendariz

Photo Credit: YouTube

The EPA official, Al Armendariz, who said he would “crucify” oil and gas companies to send a message, has resigned.

According to the Washington Times:

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency official Al Armendariz, under fire for 2010 comments bragging that he would “crucify” oil and gas companies in order to send a message to the industry, has resigned.

“While I feel there is much work that remains to be done for the people of this country in the region that I serve, after a great deal of thought and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that my continued service will distract you and the agency from its important work,” Mr. Armendariz said in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. His resignation takes effect Monday.

The former head of EPA’s Region 6, Mr. Armendariz oversaw the agency’s efforts in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico — some of the nation’s biggest energy-producing states. His 2010 statements first were revealed by Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, last week.

Responding to a question at a Texas town-hall meeting two years ago, Mr. Armendariz likened his approach of regulatory enforcement to the tactics used by the Roman Empire.

“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,” Mr. 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 would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. So, that’s our general philosophy.”

The remarks drew harsh criticism from across the energy sector and from many congressional Republicans, some of whom called for his immediate firing.

Ms. Jackson accepted his resignation over the weekend and acknowledged the “crucify” quip had become a major distraction for the agency.

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