EPA: Hey, sorry about that whole “crucify” thing, we’re all about being ethical

posted at 10:41 am on April 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The EPA has scrambled to contain the damage from the clip highlighted by Morgen Richmond this morning, which went viral yesterday, showing an EPA administrator bragging about crucifixion as a means to impose the EPA’s will on American subjects, er, citizens.  The EPA’s Richard Armendariz apologized late last night for his remarks, and the EPA rushed to assure people that they are all about “ethical enforcement”:

The Obama-appointed Environmental Protection Agency official who explained that the agency uses a “crucify them” enforcement philosophy against oil and gas companies apologized for his comments on Wednesday night.

“I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words,” Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller. “It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws. I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws. …

While Armendariz apologized, EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Cynthia Giles asserted that the agency is still committed to ethical enforcement of the law.

“Strong, fair and effective enforcement of the environmental laws passed by Congress is critical to protecting public health and ensuring that all companies, regardless of industry, are playing by the same rules,” she said in comments provided to TheDC. “Enforcement is essential to the effectiveness of our environmental laws, ensuring that public health is protected and that companies that play by the rules are not at a disadvantage. The same holds true for companies involved in responsible and safe development of our nation’s domestic energy resources.”

Sure they are.  Why, just ask the Sacketts about the EPA’s idea of “ethical enforcement.”  They ruled that the land that the Sacketts bought were wetlands after the Sacketts starting building a house on residential-zoned land even though it had not been classified as such beforehand, and then refused to allow them to access the court system without paying tens of thousands of dollars each day that they delayed the EPA’s mandated abatement.  The Supreme Court hit the EPA with a unanimous smackdown on a process which could only be called a financial crucifixion of the Sacketts, and a lesson to everyone else — just as Armendariz described in the video.

Don’t count Senator James Inhofe among the easily impressed with this apology and endorsement of the EPA’s approach to enforcement:

Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe is not buying the mea culpa offered by the EPA official who bragged about the agency’s “crucify them” enforcement philosophy against oil and gas companies.

“His apology was meaningless,” Inhofe told The Daily Caller in a Thursday morning interview.

“You’re going to treat people like the Romans crucified the church? Get real,” he said.

According to Inhoffe, Obama-appointed Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz’s claim in his apology that the agency is focused on “fair and vigorous enforcement” isn’t supported by the facts.

Inhofe appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to talk about his intent to investigate the EPA, and to tie Armendariz’ comments to Barack Obama’s war on domestic oil and gas production, especially gas:

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Thursday blasted an Environmental Protection Agency official’s claim that the agency was using a “crucify them” strategy against oil and gas companies, calling it a part of President Barack Obama’s “war on domestic energy.”

“Let’s keep in mind, this is all a part of Obama’s war on domestic energy,” Inhofe said on “Fox & Friends.” “He’s the one who said that we have good natural gas and it’s plentiful and all of that but we’ve got to stop hydraulic fracturing. This is the war on hydraulic fracturing.”

It’s more than a war on hydraulic fracturing, or on energy production.  It’s a war on liberty, waged by bureaucrats who want to crucify people like the Sacketts in order to pacify the rest of us.  The apology won’t fool anyone.


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