The outrage continues to grow over the revelation by EPA Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz that the "general philosophy" of the EPA regarding regulations of oil and gas producers is to "crucify them." Armendariz says the EPA believes in singling out an individual oil company, punish it "as hard as you can," and make an example of it to scare others into submission.
It's an intimidation tactic the he borrowed from the ancient Romans:
"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." (Video clip here.)
The White House shrugged off the "crucify them" characterization by the regulator noting he would keep his job. The harshest thing his boss EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson had to say is that Armendariz comments were "disappointing." But, no one has said Armendariz misrepresented the "general philosophy" in practice by the Administration.
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) first exposed the damning video of Armendariz's comments, and has been leading an investigation into EPA's tactics and war on energy. Inhofe is the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The Obama Administration is dismissive of Armendariz's revelation, but others see it as exposing the real agenda. Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana, where thousands of jobs have been lost due to the heavy handed moratorium imposed in the gulf by the Obama Administration, nailed it. "The use of threats and intimidation to force energy companies to submit to an extremist agenda may be fitting under a totalitarian regime, but it is never acceptable in the United States," Fleming said.
Inhofe cites some hard evidence of the EPA's regulatory hard ball. Despite a natural gas boom on private land, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) reports natural gas sales of production from federal lands are down 17% since 2008, Inhofe said in a recent Senate floor speech.
Investor's Business Daily connected the dots correctly in a scathing – and accurate - editorial, "the only conclusion is that Armendariz is doing exactly what the White House wants. He just made the error of saying it." We agree.