EPA official resigns over “crucify” comments; Update: Inhofe statement added

posted at 1:21 pm on April 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Michael Kinsley once defined gaffe as the accidental telling of an embarrassing political truth.  EPA official Al Armendariz has paid for his 2010 gaffe, captured on video and highlighted by Senator James Inhofe, with his job:

The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South and Southwest region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe his approach to enforcement.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

They don’t reflect his work, eh?  Then why would he be bragging about taking that kind of approach to enforcement at an EPA conference?  Somehow, I’d trust the unguarded moment a lot more than the spin.

Thomas Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research, which pushes for policies that support domestic energy production, says that Armendariz’ original comments reflect the reality of those who have to deal with the EPA when pursuing exploration and extraction:

“Administrator Al Armendariz’s comments are representative of the arbitrary and punitive enforcement strategy that has developed at the EPA in the last three years. His resignation, while appropriate, does nothing to stop the regulatory assault on traditional energy producers currently led by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. A pattern of politicized rule-making and reckless scientific analysis envelop the agency, despite the damage-control efforts being coordinated at the White House.

“Words are important, but actions speak louder than words. And while Administrator Armendariz’s comments were reprehensible, the agency’s ongoing effort to intimidate and even bankrupt coal, oil and natural gas producers is far worse.”

Ask the Sacketts whether crucifixion is the rule or the exception.  Armendariz’ departure may allow the EPA to spin a little longer, but the agency has “crucified” too many people for their approach to remain a secret.  All Armendariz’ admission did was to corroborate the large body of evidence from inside the agency.

Update: Senator Inhofe says that this won’t stop his investigation into EPA enforcement practices:

“After his revelation that EPA’s ‘general philosophy’ is to ‘crucify’ oil and gas companies, it was only right for Administrator Armendariz to resign today – but his resignation in no way solves the problem of President Obama and his EPA’s crucifixion philosophy,” Senator Inhofe said.  ”In his letter to Administrator Jackson, Armendariz again pointed to his ‘poor choice of words’ as the reason for his resignation – but Armendariz was just being honest: his choice of words revealed the truth about the war that EPA has been waging on American energy producers under President Obama.

“We will continue our investigation into the situations surrounding EPA’s apparent crucifixion victims: the American people deserve to know why, in at least three separate cases, EPA tarnished the reputation of companies by accusing them of water contamination; then when the results of their study did not turn out the way they hoped, and they had no definitive evidence to make that link, they quietly walked back their accusations.  We will get to the bottom of this – and we will continue looking into EPA’s actions on hydraulic fracturing beyond these three cases as well.

“Especially as Region VI holds some of the most immense oil and gas resources in the country – including in my home state of Oklahoma – I will be watching who President Obama appoints to replace Armendariz very closely.”

At least this gets the media off the administration’s back.  Oh, wait …

Update II: Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) joins in:

The Obama Administration’s desire to punish job creators goes all the way to the top, and that’s the real issue. Excessive and overly burdensome regulations are hurting our economy and actually killing jobs. If President Obama’s regulators were listening, they’d know that Americans want a healthy economy where hard work is rewarded and everyone has the opportunity to play by reasonable rules and succeed.


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He’s going to resign just to ink a deal with Van Jones’ publisher.

Defenestratus on April 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Perhaps he should come down from his cross?

Brad on April 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

This is like spraying the house for rodents before we condemn it…condemnation in November…

right2bright on April 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Too bad the video only recently surfaced, as he should have been fired the day after his comments.

Amazingoly on April 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

This dolt knows about as much about energy and the environment as he knows about history.

pat on April 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

The very same disease of corrupt power infects the US Army Corps of Engineers environmental administrators.

DanMan on April 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Well, Obama could always rehire him on November 7 if he wins reelection. He’ll have more “flexibility” then.

Doughboy on April 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM

He should be sent to live somewhere in Africa without a research grant…bastard.

Wanderlust on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

who is that geek gonna crucify??? lol.

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I bet those Christians were behind this bullying.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Color of Change hardest hit.

The Schaef on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Good. But the EPA is way out of control. It needs to “resign” as well.

Paul-Cincy on April 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Is this part of the FORWARD?

tommer74 on April 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Better than nothing, but this is like crushing one termite in your basement.

forest on April 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Wheels of the bus.

docflash on April 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Mr. Dumbazz

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM

What took so long finding this tape?

JPeterman on April 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I wasn’t aware that Ray Romano worked for the EPA.

Dack Thrombosis on April 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Better than nothing, but this is like crushing one termite in your basement.

forest on April 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

yeah, you gotta eradicate the queen. and that would be obama. get it….QUEEN….

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

One eco-fascist down.

Axion on April 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Mr. Armendariz, no Utopia for you!

- Soup Obamuh

OhEssYouCowboys on April 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM

He made the ultimate liberal mistake: he got caught.

paul1149 on April 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM

who is that geek gonna crucify??? lol.

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

He was looking for revenge, of the geeks. Now, the rest of the EPA needs to go, as well. The government is full of these little wannabe dictators using regulation minutia enforcement to feel powerful for the first time in their lives.

Fallon on April 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

The moral of the story is that if you are going to be a vindictive regulator with a socialist agenda, don’t use charged words like crucify when bragging to your fellow travelers.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

We should have negotiated for a new coal plant.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Imhofe: “I liked Armendariz’s thinking. So I took HIS head and stuck it on a pole as a warning to other bed-wetting Left-wing beta male bureaucrats who want to talk tough.”

cicerone on April 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

What do you call the resignation of one high ranking EPA official?

A good start!

Ba da bing…..I’ll be here all day folks.

dczombie on April 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

pity, it wasn’t really Crucify-crucify was it?? s/c

ToddPA on April 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Probably end up at a Soros group… Center for American Progress… Green for all via Van Jones… the furthest Left always have Sugar Daddy/Money Bags Soros to run to for payola.

The economy, however, can’t afford the EPA.

ajacksonian on April 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I would like to see a list of various EPA crucifixions for the last few years. Over the weekend I heard some liberals talking about how dumb this was because, “clearly, no one has been crucified”. I don’t want to get into a discussion without actual information.

I know about the Sacketts but one case isn’t enough and I know there is more out there.

Does anyone know where I could find such a list?

Lily on April 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Shocking that he resigned, he vas just following ordairs…

/goose-step

CorporatePiggy on April 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Ask the Sacketts whether crucifixion is the rule or the exception. Armendariz’ departure may allow the EPA to spin a little longer, but the agency has “crucified” too many people for their approach to remain a secret. All Armendariz’ admission did was to corroborate the large body of evidence from inside the agency.

I would like to see those American citizens that were victims of the EPA get restitution. Why not? After all Pigford paid restitution to Black farmers.

Dr Evil on April 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

The whole administration needs to be disinfected of the anti-America, anti-Capitalism attitude and policies. That also goes for some so called conservatives that have been willing accomplices. Oh, forgot to mention the Muslim Brotherhood tentacles and creeping Sharia pukes that slipping in.

retiredeagle on April 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM

His resignation, while appropriate, does nothing to stop the regulatory assault on traditional energy producers currently led by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. A pattern of politicized rule-making and reckless scientific analysis envelop the agency, despite the damage-control efforts being coordinated at the White House.

Bingo…keep your eye on the ball.

bazil9 on April 30, 2012 at 1:37 PM

He must have worked out the details of his next job before resigning…

d1carter on April 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I like how this @sshat has the balls to say they only went after guilty parties. Um, that’s in direct contradiction to the accurate description of the ancient Romans going in and “crucifying the first 5 men they saw,” nitwit.

Dark Star on April 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

He was looking for revenge, of the geeks. Now, the rest of the EPA needs to go, as well. The government is full of these little wannabe dictators using regulation minutia enforcement to feel powerful for the first time in their lives.

Fallon on April 30, 2012 at 1:33 PM

i know. i am 6 foot 2, 260 lbs. i would dearly love for one of these tough guys to talk their liberal crap to my face.

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

He’ll probably become a lobbyist and double his income.

cajunpatriot on April 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It would be cool to find out what SOP are for “enforcement”.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Bah. I’m glad he’s gone, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that he has a cushy job lined up at some not-for-profit or “eco” lobby group. I doubt he even understands what he did wrong.

We need to seriously reform administrative agencies and administrative law. Congress has almost no power over these agencies anymore and they are a law unto themselves.

We need to make it so that almost no regulations can be passed without an up/down vote by congress, and that there is much more serious oversight of their day-to-day operations.

Monkeytoe on April 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Scratch another obnoxious leftist from his cushy federal job!

ObamatheMessiah on April 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM

He should be sent to live somewhere in Africa without a research grant…bastard.

Wanderlust on April 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

The EPA will banish him here.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Lily on April 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

John Stossel of Fox Business News had a special that covered a lot of EPA abuses to property owners. Mostly they victimized people over what defines a “wet land”.

Dr Evil on April 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

“…Jackson had said only that she would continue to review the case, calling Armendariz’ words “inflammatory” and “wrong”…

…The regional administrator’s words “don’t comport with either this administration’s policy on energy, our policy at EPA on environmental enforcement, nor do they comport with our record as well,” Jackson said.”

Liars. Armendariz’s conduct exemplified the “crucification” strategy he outlined in his now infamous remarks. He repeatedly attacked Texas energy producers with false charges using the vast resources of the agency and the federal government.

He did exactly what Lisa Jackson and Barack Obama wanted done. He was just foolish enough to admit it on tape.

Is there any doubt, without the tape, this thug would still be lying and waging war on energy producers, Roman-style?

novaculus on April 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM

i know. i am 6 foot 2, 260 lbs. i would dearly love for one of these tough guys to talk their liberal crap to my face.

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

5’10″ and 145 lbs… and even I could take on that EPA nitwit. How you might ask?

I’m just that intense.

Turtle317 on April 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

cicerone on April 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

+1, well done

DanMan on April 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

What took so long finding this tape?

JPeterman on April 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM

The same reason it took so long to know about the goods on a certain Presidential Candidate…Thx to the National Inquirer becoming a serious new source..

bazil9 on April 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM

This guy is going to be a big hero on the left. Probably end up collecting a massive salary from some collectivist foundation that’s been all larded up by stimulus loot and EPA grants.

forest on April 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I would venture that the vast majority of EPA employees are Zealots, just like this guy. Good riddance, but there are thousands more just like him at the EPA.

Dasher on April 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

It’s just another example of the Liberal mind at work. In their mad quest to alter the environment, whether it’s political, economic, cultural, environmental,whatever, to their specifications they forget that the point of it all should be people rather than their vision. But somehow, in their arrogance, they substitute their vision for the people and the people, ultimately, get the shaft.

Cleombrotus on April 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Turtle317 on April 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Awesome.

GhoulAid on April 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM

When the EPA attacks American energy production they, circumventing congress, are supposedly doing this to protect us from the climate changing.

Bull-hockey. There is a deeper goal. It is the (fanciful and unrealistic) leftist dream of de-industrialized simple idyllic life. The leftist politicians and their media & “scientific” allies (climatologists are actually just a pawn in a bigger drama) start with the premise that cutting back on industrial civilization would be good. CO2 cuts (thus cutting energy production) pave the way. Global Warming is the handy bogeyman to use to push for these co2 cuts. They’ll take whatever they can get. If they get it all, we’re back to the stone age. Two quotes from the leftist nuts:

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that.. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill…. the real enemy is humanity itself….humanity requires .. a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one, or one invented for the purpose.” — Club of Rome
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” –Daniel Botkin, ex Chairman of Environmental Studies at UCSB

anotherJoe on April 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM

EPA official Al Armendariz = Van Jones II.

BuckeyeSam on April 30, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Forgive me my pet peeve …
THIS WAS NOT A GAFFE !!

Could we save that word for something that really IS one ?
This re-invention of our language just needles me, big time.

Carry on.

pambi on April 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Unfortunately..your close to the truth.

He will have it made. He don’t care about his stink’n resignation. Moving up and onward to new lib adventures and $.

bazil9 on April 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

“We will continue our investigation into the situations surrounding EPA’s apparent crucifixion victims

Blah, blah, blah, no you won’t.

JPeterman on April 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Perhaps he should come down from his cross?

Brad on April 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Well played, sir.

iurockhead on April 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Forgive me my pet peeve …
THIS WAS NOT A GAFFE !!

Could we save that word for something that really IS one ?
This re-invention of our language just needles me, big time.

Carry on.

pambi on April 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Your correct, thanks Pambi.

bazil9 on April 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Breitbart is here………..

punditbob on April 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

I would venture that the vast majority of EPA employees are Zealots, just like this guy. Good riddance, but there are thousands more just like him at the EPA.

Dasher on April 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

It definitely is one of those agencies where you have to have a certain world view. Just like the IRS, EEOC or OSHA, the EPA is anti-business with a mindset that businesses are guilty until they can prove otherwise. Oh! and just to make things fun, the regulatory agency gets to use a constantly moving set of standards as to just what proof is required.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2012 at 1:58 PM

bazil9 on April 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 30, 2012 at 1:58 PM

How is this any different from Obama saying …

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

January, 2008 — Senator Obama

Last month, the EPA virtually prevented any new coal-fired plants from being built, by putting strict limits on the amount of CO2 they can emit. It’s the same damn thing. Obama needs to go, NOW.

Paul-Cincy on April 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

He had to take one for the team. Not to worry, there is petty cash all over the place, like all that money we just gave to the palistinians. Im sure he will get some nice parting gifts.

newportmike on April 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

The problem isn’t this leftist punk academic who never worked a single day in his life in the energy business – or anywhere where results actually matter. It’s that his exact attitude is that not only of the EPA towards fossil fuel production and use, but of the bureaucracy at large towards the citizenry.

We need a wholesale cleaning of the “career” people at DOJ, EPA, DOE (if either is worth keeping at all), and HHS. They think they are a law unto themselves – and unless we can fire them, they are.

Adjoran on April 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

In the meanwhile Obama Chickencaca is the new algae.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

“Crucify” is the Obama way.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Line on the left. One cross each.

CurtZHP on April 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

One worthless, irresponsible incompetent, anti-American/anti-capitalist, socialist extremist, “sack of schumer” federal bureaucrat down – 2 MILLION to go.

TeaPartyNation on April 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

When PBHO finally declares himself emperor, Armendariz will be installed as Prefect of the Praetorian Guard.

Hang in there, Armen, you’ll have a job soon enough.

Bishop on April 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

“Crucify” is the Obama way.

Schadenfreude on April 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

This guy got caught espousing what he learned from higher ups. It is the Obama way.

dogsoldier on April 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Imhofe: “I liked Armendariz’s thinking. So I took HIS head and stuck it on a pole as a warning to other bed-wetting Left-wing beta male bureaucrats who want to talk tough.”

cicerone on April 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM

..ausgezeichnet, mein herr!

The War Planner on April 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

let him ride his purple UNICORN off to find another Gubmint job that pays him $450,000. a year and retirement in 20 years at 110% of this annual salary….

SDarchitect on April 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Good riddance, dork. Make sure you walk when you vacate. Don’t be using any of that Evil gasoline.

msupertas on April 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Resignation or not, Congress should still bring this clown up to the Hill and gut him like a fish in front of the entire world.

No one in America not already passed-out drunk on Obama kool-aid believes for a minute that Armendariz’ comments dont reflect his true beliefs or that of the Obama administration that hired him.

Sacramento on April 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

One of the few parts of his statement that I didn’t hear challenged, was that he was making an example of “wrong doers”, but as anyone who has dealt with the EPA and several other government agencies – you are presumed guilty and then prosecuted. The costly and Draconian tactics by these agencies generally cause those who are innocent but can’t afford to fight to give in rather than incur even more costly litigation.

2nd Ammendment Mother on April 30, 2012 at 2:36 PM

He must have worked out the details of his next job before resigning…

d1carter on April 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

He just took a leave of absence from his university job. He will be back to sucking up taxpayer dollars through federal grants to fund bogus “research” before you can say “under the bus”.

novaculus on April 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

One down, and how many more to go?

sage0925 on April 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I’d like to see some of his victims get together and sue him personally back to the stone age for violation of their Constitutional rights (14th Amendment perhaps).

dentarthurdent on April 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Some more quotes from the econuts that are giving impetus to the EPA’s crazy persecutions of energy production:

“Every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.” – George Monbiot, Activist & Journalist

“[to save us from climate change, we must]… rid the world of Industrial Civilization…this means the removal of grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine.” — Keith Faranith, UK Eco-Activist

Just for fun: “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” –Noel Brown (1989), ex Director of the UN Environment Program [it's now 2012]

anotherJoe on April 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

God Bless Senator Inhofe, he was mocked and scoffed at for years because he was the only one with enough integrity to take up the fight against the man-made Global Warming SCAM and eco-fascist.

Axion on April 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Probably ducked out because he knows an investigation is coming.

GarandFan on April 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I’d like to see some of his victims get together and sue him personally back to the stone age for violation of their Constitutional rights (14th Amendment perhaps).

dentarthurdent on April 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Me too!!!

I’d like to see Congress strip ALL legal defences from public officials who knowingly violate the law and/or abuse their office by assuming powers not supported by any law.

This would provide work after Obama is thrown out to the law firms who made a business out of suing private companies out of business: they could now spend full time suing abusive public officials!!

landlines on April 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

All smoke and mirrors.
The policy will continue just the same.

Delsa on April 30, 2012 at 3:34 PM

These investigations never go anywhere. The Congress, White House and DOJ are all corrupt. Just a waste of taxpayer money. We’re better off when they are in recess or, in Obama’s case, on vacation.

lea on April 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Good riddance.

Lisa Jackson, you’re next.

WannabeAnglican on April 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM

EPA official resigns over “crucify” comments;

Good, but this resignation should be just a beginning of the “heads rolling” in the EPA. This guy should still part of a much larger investigation into the damage and criminality done to America by EPA and all rogue Obama agencies.

Update: Senator Inhofe says that this won’t stop his investigation into EPA enforcement practices:

God Speed Sen Inhofe!! DO BATTLE and Bring Back a boatload of liberal/leftists scalps !!

BigSven on April 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

The Obama administration recently went after PVC (plastic) plants. They backed down when the manufacturers said they close the plants and move them offshore.

roux on April 30, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Just looking at that slimy snake in that photo makes me sick. He is the epitome of a liberal snake.

logicman_1998 on April 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Bump, bump, bump, another one under the bus!

If he likes to crucify people, maybe he’ll get a role in a Mel Gibson movie, if he studies his Latin.

Steve Z on April 30, 2012 at 7:51 PM

May oakland can fill the guy’s position.

Badger40 on April 30, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I think the House should make an object lesson out of this guy. Make him lawyer up and spend some of that government salary on defending himself from overzealous officials. You know, a bit of tit for tat.

Metanis on April 30, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Here is the actual link to the article you were quoting but forgot to include.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EPA_RESIGNATION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-04-30-12-20-37

JeffinSac on May 1, 2012 at 9:14 AM