Former EPA official, of “crucify” fame, bails from Hill hearing at the last minute

posted at 10:41 am on June 6, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Yesterday, I was pretty excited about today’s scheduled House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, “EPA Priorities and Practices,” at which the former EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz was supposed to appear to explain his unique philosophy of enforcement. But then, all of my hopes were dashed — dashed! — when Energy & Commerce made this announcement late last night:

WASHINGTON, DC – With less than 24 hours until he was scheduled to testify in front of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, former Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6 Al Armendariz has notified the committee that he will not appear at tomorrow’s hearing. Counsel representing Armendariz contacted the committee late this afternoon notifying staff of the cancellation. Armendariz himself had previously agreed to testify after his comments in a controversial online video forced him to resign.

“We are extremely disappointed to hear Dr. Armendariz will no longer be testifying at our hearing tomorrow. Congress and the American people deserve an explanation for the outrageous comments suggesting EPA should ‘crucify’ American energy companies, as well as a fuller understanding of EPA’s actual enforcement priorities and practices that are creating a hostile regulatory environment,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). “President Obama’s EPA has established a record of abuse in its policies and enforcement practices. Tomorrow’s hearing will continue without Armendariz, and we expect compelling testimony from the other witnesses describing concerns with EPA’s aggressive enforcement and regulatory actions.”

Er, can he do that?Apparently so, explained Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on local radio this morning — since he’s no longer a government employee, his appearance was voluntary. But why agree to testify in the first place, then? I wonder what could’ve changed his mind. Maybe EPA decided that they just didn’t need any extra headaches, what with the “assault” Sen. Inhofe is waging on the agency. But you know what? I’m glad somebody is “assaulting” (a.k.a., holding accountable) the out-of-control environmental crusaders, since they’ve taken few pains to hide the fact that they are actively trying to force the demise of a huge portion of the American energy market. Montage! Montage!

Comforting that these bureaucrats wield such supreme regulatory authority, isn’t it? Sen. Inhofe is floating a bill that would make EPA regional administrators subject to Senate confirmation — and I would fully support that policy. This governmental body in particular needs a little less independence, a few more checks and balances.


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He was afraid he’d be crucified.

Akzed on June 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

“Unexpectedly”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The unwritten rule: Accountability is not applicable to liberal policies or actions.

antipc on June 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I wonder what could’ve changed his mind.

As Rush says, it is the Cory Booker Memorial Woodshed. Even Clinton has to change his mind after being taken to the Woodshed.

Christian Conservative on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Er, can he do that?Apparently so, explained Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on local radio this morning — since he’s no longer a government employee, his appearance was voluntary.

Can he not be subpoenaed?

Doughboy on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

He probably realized it was more fun being a crucifier than a crucifee.

Drained Brain on June 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

and I would fully support that policy. This governmental body in particular needs a little less independence, a few more checks and balances.

The only policy I support, is the complete elimination of the utterly corrupt EPA.

SWalker on June 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

“All of the above” strategy sounds like something a 5th grader would make up. This administration is full of amateurs trying their best to play like grownups. And they continually do and say stupid things.

ButterflyDragon on June 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

The current EPA needs to be abolished, the offices flushed out and a liberal dose of disinfectant sprayed about.

GarandFan on June 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Can he not be subpoenaed?

Doughboy on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Yes, and I suspect that’s in the works. Sure hope it is, as some of the things this guy would have to admit under oath would make for some blockbuster bites for ads, particulary in the swing “coal” states.

TXUS on June 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

What did you expect him to do? Say under oath, “Well you see at the EPA we really didn’t give too hoots about the ‘environment’ whatever that is. We just wanted to implement the governments radical socialist agenda by punishing our enemies, making energy prices necessarily skyrocket, and then demonizing anyone who disagreed as either a Big Oil 1%er or a hater.“?

CorporatePiggy on June 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Al Armendariz was supposed to appear to explain his unique philosophy of enforcement. But then, all of my hopes were dashed — dashed! —
==============

Hmmmmm,a Dashing Crucifictionist eh!!!!!!!!
(sarc).

canopfor on June 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Cockroach, meet light of day.

Finbar on June 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Everyone Protect your A$$

txag92 on June 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM

WTF…..Turkish Towns!!

Ick,I bet,what comes next is the bath houses!!
(snark).

canopfor on June 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Can he not be subpoenaed?

Doughboy on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Yes. Lots of people have gone to a Congressional hearing and asserted their Fifth Amendment rights. Why go to a hearing if you aren’t going to do anything except make yourself look as guilty as sin, unless you’re compelled.

Subpoena him. And as there’s no criminal charges against him, he can’t not testify.

rbj on June 6, 2012 at 10:59 AM

New girl, I like yer style. I sense a little killer instinct lurking behind the curtain.

a capella on June 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

FROG MARCH HIS AZZ!

ToddPA on June 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Give us former regional administrator Barabas!

apostic on June 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

How much environmental overlap do we really need? Every municipality of any size, almost every county or parish and every single state has the same authority to police environmental laws and then we have the EPA ramping up every aspect of that as well.

Cut the EPA down to a board that manages research and publishes reports and let the states be the experimental labs that produce the results we need. One of the democrats first orders of business was to delegate their legislative authority to these liberal advocates in the EPA. The damage is done. Fix it congress.

DanMan on June 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

We need to pass a Constitutional Amendment that Congress cannot delegate it’s law-making authority to bureaucracies. Force all of the alphabet soup agencies into an enforcement-only role.

The “Law vs Rule” legal distinction is a farce. Any “Rule” that imposes regulatory requirements upon the American people in any way is DE FACTO a law. No more making “rules” without representation.

Once we’ve done that, start consolidating, minimizing, reducing and eliminating all these agencies until we have a nice, tiny amount. I would try to shoot for less than 10 agencies TOTAL. Everything else goes back to the states or the people.

wearyman on June 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Check out this map of epa powerplant closures! epa HAS got be stopped, no more money to this agency!

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/epa-powerplant-closures
L

letget on June 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Ya know,all of these political Clowns that aren`t qualified
that touch the sphere of Obama`s staff,er,personell,are more
than likey,the same type(s) that hated Bush,er,the Right,and
so,by their loathing,

they are,ahem….*Political Power-Tripping`*

canopfor on June 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Give us former regional administrator Barabas!

apostic on June 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

This guy?.

CorporatePiggy on June 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Must suck to have to go through life, always having to cower from expressing what you believe in.

MNHawk on June 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Can he not be subpoenaed? – Doughboy on June 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM

He should be subpoenaed and then crucified for his actions while at the EPA.

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

The current EPA needs to be abolished, the offices flushed out and a liberal dose of disinfectant sprayed about.

GarandFan on June 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

An exorcism might be more appropriate.

SubmarineDoc on June 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

One good thing about him resigning,he gets no unemployment checks.

docflash on June 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Subpoena him. And as there’s no criminal charges against him, he can’t not testify.

I can “not testify” if he thinks there could be criminal or civil charges

J_Crater on June 6, 2012 at 11:15 AM

An exorcism might be more appropriate.

SubmarineDoc on June 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

With copious amounts of hot tar and feathers.

I hope they play the video of this guy, just the same. Yes they should subpoena him.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Lemme guess … Armendariz had planned to stay up really late last night watching Wisconsin election returns and just knew he’d be too tired to keep his lies straight through the entire hearing.

stukinIL4now on June 6, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Subpoena!?!

multiuseless on June 6, 2012 at 11:16 AM

…so what have all these “HEARINGS” so far…accomplished?

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Give us former regional administrator Barabas!

apostic on June 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

This guy?.

CorporatePiggy on June 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Heh. Armendariz seems to have a worse attitude (albeit less entertaining).

apostic on June 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

One good thing about him resigning,he gets no unemployment checks.- docflash on June 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

You are right on that issue, but he probably has already been vested into already bloated government retirement system. The House can still subpoena him and make him squirm.

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Subpeona his fascist a$$. There is video evidence that he abused power at EPA. Resigning should not shield him from accountability.

WhatNot on June 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

He probably realized it was more fun being a crucifier than a crucifee.

Drained Brain on June 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Thread winner!

Psycotte on June 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Oh I get it. I could go an commit atrocities against people as a government worker, then RESIGN. WooHooo off da hook!
Thats almost as good as the “I was only following orders” meme.

WTF? Somebody park a truck on this guys head will ya?

orbitalair on June 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Absolutely typical, liberals can sure dish out bull s**t but when they’re called on the carpet for their outright fascism they’re only made of chicken s**t by that time.

Speakup on June 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Exactly. They know what they are doing, both from their own quotes and the proof in the closures etc.
Either defund/get rid of the EPA or quit wasting our time.
This is just expensive theater.

ORconservative on June 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM

If the idiots can subpoena a private baseball player, they can subpoena an ex-govt employee on matters pertaining to his tenure.

Personally, I don’t believe they should be able to subpoena any private person or corporation unless it pertains to govt service and/or contracts.

But this Guy definitely needs to answer for his actions and I hope he perjures himself so he can be frogmarched to prison.

AH_C on June 6, 2012 at 11:28 AM

How about making the czars subject to approval with any “workaround” shadow czars running the real show subject to felony charges?

Don L on June 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Close the EPA!!!

Jaibones on June 6, 2012 at 11:33 AM

When was his start date at Center For American Progress?
Don’t they have a contract to hire from under the bus?

seven on June 6, 2012 at 11:33 AM

What did you expect him to do? Say under oath, “Well you see at the EPA we really didn’t give too hoots about the ‘environment’ whatever that is. We just wanted to implement the governments radical socialist agenda by punishing our enemies, making energy prices necessarily skyrocket, and then demonizing anyone who disagreed as either a Big Oil 1%er or a hater.“?
CorporatePiggy on June 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Of course not. No Socialist who doesn’t happen to have absolute power at the moment can ever tell the truth.

As always, we expected him to lie, but to do it under oath, and subject to cross examination.

Of course he’s free to say whatever he wants; to explain and excuse his inexplicable and inexcusable actions to anyone who’ll listen. There was no law that said he had to volunteer to testify before Congress — just as there was no law that said he couldn’t lie when he did that.

But “agreeing” to testify without subpoena, and then pulling the rug out at the last minute isn’t just lying. This is an intentional slap in the fact to Congress. And it’s pretty safe to say this insignificant weasel wasn’t the one who came up with that idea.

logis on June 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The new coal regulations are requiring the closing of a coal fueled backup facility at Lake Murray dam in the South Carolina Midlands. How many coal miners are going to be laid off?

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2012 at 11:43 AM

With less than 24 hours until he was scheduled to testify in front of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, former Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6 Al Armendariz has notified the committee that he will not appear at tomorrow’s hearing.

It takes real courage to not show up for an interview. Just ask Dan Rather.

MessesWithTexas on June 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Review the process by which he was hired with his former boss…ask about their knowledge of his philosophy of crucifying energy companies. Find out is this is the philosophy of his boss and others in the EPA. Then subpoena him for later hearing.

d1carter on June 6, 2012 at 11:52 AM

This is an intentional slap in the factface to Congress. And it’s pretty safe to say this insignificant weasel wasn’t the one who came up with that idea.

logis on June 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Interesting that you say that. Because I see Holders refusals toward Congress in the same way. Congress is being tested. And they are failing.

Soon they’ll be totally unnecessary…

orbitalair on June 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Some Obungler crony mentioned “Fort Marcy Park” and apparently the last thing heard from Al was the screech of tires headed out of town.

viking01 on June 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

He was afraid he’d be crucified.

Akzed on June 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

.
It’s about (expletive) time one of these “little tyrants” was afraid to face the people.

I’d like to crucify the EPA.

listens2glenn on June 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

It’s about (expletive) time one of these “little tyrants” was afraid to face the people.

I’d like to crucify the EPA.

listens2glenn on June 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Crucifixion and summary executions by drone are on the approved list for this administration so you should be okay.

Just don’t try to waterboard the EPA. You’ll be in real trouble then.

MessesWithTexas on June 6, 2012 at 12:23 PM

(The EPA) body in particular needs a little less independence, a few more checks and balances.

Actually it needs to be completely eliminated and the clean water act rewritten and administered by the Interior Dept. We do not need the EPA and we desperately need a much smaller federal government and millions fewer commie bureaucrats.

woodNfish on June 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I suspect Al had a meeting with a very large man named Tony, who proceeded to point out that Al had some very nice things and it would be a shame if anything happened to them.

gravityman on June 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

…then demonizing anyone who disagreed as either a Big Oil 1%er or a hater.“?

CorporatePiggy on June 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

You forgot racist.

gravityman on June 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

We need to pass a Constitutional Amendment that Congress cannot delegate it’s law-making authority to bureaucracies. Force all of the alphabet soup agencies into an enforcement-only role.

The “Law vs Rule” legal distinction is a farce. Any “Rule” that imposes regulatory requirements upon the American people in any way is DE FACTO a law. No more making “rules” without representation.

Once we’ve done that, start consolidating, minimizing, reducing and eliminating all these agencies until we have a nice, tiny amount. I would try to shoot for less than 10 agencies TOTAL. Everything else goes back to the states or the people.

wearyman on June 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I’ve always had an issue with that “rule-making” aspect that Congress hands to the executive branch agencies for the same reason. They have the force of law, but are not created by the legislature. A government lawyer would argue though that this is not the old “taxation without representation” issue, since it was our elected representatives that voted to hand specific rules making powers to the administration. They would probably also argue that the executive branch rules are written in order to execute the legislative goals required by the laws Congress passes, which is a reasonable argument, IMO (and I think one that the Founders would agree with in a very limited sense). However, I think the executive branch has taken the small leeway in rules making needed to execute broader legislative goals and expanded it well beyond what is required to fulfill the enforcement of laws. And Congress has been complicit in allowing it to occur by writing more broadly worded laws culminating in ObamaCare which hands nearly the entire legislative process of the law over to the HHS Secretary (which makes one wonder why it required 2400 pages to accomplish that).

gravityman on June 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

One of the things our Founding Fathers understood was that it was easy to be the bully when you had power. For that reason, our government was designed with checks and balances. Armendariz apparently never learned that lesson, but he’s now experiencing what life is like from a position of no power.

If’s he’s wise, he’ll learn from his mistakes.

EdmundBurke247 on June 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

New girl, I like yer style. I sense a little killer instinct lurking behind the curtain.

a capella on June 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

+100
Erika, I am really liking your style! You are a great addition to HA.

brtex on June 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM