Skip to comments.House GOP wants to haul EPA official (Al Armendariz) before Congress over 'crucify' comments
Posted on 04/27/2012 3:51:05 PM PDT by Libloather
House GOP wants to haul EPA official before Congress over 'crucify' comments
By Andrew Restuccia - 04/27/12 06:12 PM ET
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans want an Environmental Protection Agency official to testify on his 2010 comments comparing enforcement of air pollution laws to crucifixion.
Republicans pounced this week on EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendarizs comments soon after Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) drew attention to them in a Wednesday floor speech.
The comments quickly became the subject of a GOP campaign to blast the Obama administrations environmental policies, with Republicans arguing in a stream of media interview and statements that the EPA is unfairly targeting oil and gas companies.
[T]he Committee anticipates that it will request your presence at a hearing in the near future to examine enforcement priorities and practices of the agency, the committee Republicans wrote to Armendariz in a letter Friday.
The letter notes that the committee invited Armendariz to testify at a field hearing in Texas last year, but EPA clean air chief Gina McCarthy testified in his place.
The lawmakers suggest that they would consider subpoenaing Armendariz if he declines to testify.
As this will be our second request to have you appear before our Committee, and in light of the seriousness of the concerns that need to be addressed, the Committee is prepared to use all authorities at its disposal to ensure your attendance, the letter says.
The letter also seeks information about the agencys enforcement practices.
While you have apologized for these comments, there is genuine concern that your comments reflect the agencys overall enforcement philosophy, the letter says. The recently dismissed enforcement action against Range Resources is a concrete example of this concern. In light of this concern, we seek to examine how enforcement policies are being developed and implemented in your region.
EPA officials have insisted that Armendarizs comments do not reflect the agencys enforcement philosophy.
Armendariz apologized for the comments Thursday, shortly after Inhofe brought them up.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called the comments disappointing Friday. But she declined to say whether the official would be fired or face any disciplinary action, saying the agency "will continue to review" the situation.
A steady stream of Republicans have called on Armendariz to resign or be fired. Seven House lawmakers pressed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to fire Armendariz in a letter Friday.
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) introduced a House resolution later Friday calling on Armendariz to resign over the comments.
Inhofe released a 2010 video Wednesday of Armendariz comparing his enforcement philosophy to that of Roman soldiers who crucified villagers in towns they wanted to conquer. He made the comments after calling the oil-and-gas sector an "enforcement priority."
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 Im going to tell you what I said, Armendariz says in the video.
It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer the villages in the Mediterranean theyd go into a little Turkish town somewhere and theyd find the first five guys they saw and theyd crucify them. Then that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.
Armendariz continued: And so, you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law. You find people who are not complying with the law and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them. Theres a deterrent effect there. And companies that are smart see that. They dont want to play that game and they decide at that point that its time to clean up. And that wont happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people.
The video was removed from YouTube on Friday.
EPAs enforcement division works with the Department of Justice and other agencies to bring civil and criminal legal actions against companies accused of violating environmental laws, such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
Yes it is well documented. You must work for government. It's the only explanation for your misguided mindset. I don't think you caught the fact that I know some of these workers personally. Yes they make far more than they would in the private sector and have job security, pension and benefits packages that simply can't be matched in the private sector. The reason these compensation packages don't exist in the private sector is no company that must survive by making a profit can afford to offer them. The government on the other hand can just take more from the taxpayers.
The compensation differential like many things in government is being hidden from the public a wherever possible. The feds and all other levels of government don't want the people to know how they are scamming the taxpayers.
Yes this guy, who has now resigned by the way, may not receive retirement as an appointee. However, I would wager this guy has been on the public sector payroll for his entire career and will continue after his resignation.
We always say follow the money. Well in this case lets follow the leftist creep and see where he ends up. I can promise you he will end up in another government job that produces absolutely nothing and he will have his taxpayer funded golden parachute.
This guy is young enough he's been covered only with FERS. He has to get to 62 years of age to get any of it.
You seem to have forgotten that all federal employees study those rules with a keen eye over many years and know more about them that any private sector person can possibly know.
Did you think those water cooler stories were jokes or something?
Unless you are military.
My question would be. Why do you know so many democrats? Outside of the military, current and former federal government employees are 95% democrat. The other 5% are liars!
I respect your opinion but there is no way you are going to convince me that federal employees are not excessively overcompensated. They are and any legitimate study cited confirms this. Those that try to dispel this truth are just big government propaganda.
Have you heard about all those federal employees that are just chomping at the bit to get out of that horror and jump into the private sector with a real job? Well those people DON"T EXIST. They aren't about to leave the fantasy world of government employment and get a real job.
Don't get me wrong they aren't bad people. It's just that fully 80% of them are simply not needed and thus every dime they collect from taxpayers is wasted.
Here's one last kicker. Federal employees don't pay a dime in taxes! They can't because they produce no wealth. They consume wealth generated in the private sector. It's impossible for a government employee to pay taxes when the source of every dime of their compensation is from taxing the private sector.
A government employee paying taxes would be like giving your kids a $100 dollar allowance then having them pay the $80 cable bill and thinking you've somehow gained revenue.
I worked at USPS Headquarters. We had about 600,000 employees at the time I retired. There are fewer now due to a fall off of advertising mail ~ and that's due directly to the Great Obama Recession.
You don't really think all those still employed USPS employees who are now taking care of their elderly and their unemployed chillun are going to vote for Obama do you?
As I pointed out your reference was to a study that actually EXCLUDED postal employees from the estimation of average salary levels of federal employees. It also EXCLUDED private sector CEOs. Both factors went a long way to distort the reality.
Warren Buffet's salary wasn't included ~ but his secretary's was.