EPA Regional Chief Resigns
A regional EPA chief based in Texas resigned Monday; just days after comments were uncovered by Republican lawmakers, in which he made a comparison between his enforcement of companies in the energy industry with a crucifixion.
Al Armendariz was the Environmental Protections Agency’s chief of the Region 6 office. That office includes Louisiana, Texas and three more states. He sent his letter of resignation too Lisa Jackson the Administrator of the EPA, on Sunday. On Monday, his resignation was officially accepted.
Lawmakers circulated a video link of Armendariz speaking in May of 2010. In his speech, he compared the enforcement strategy used on energy companies to that of Romans who took over towns across the Mediterranean.
He said, “They would enter a Turkish town, they would find five guys and they would crucify them”
The video was taken only months after he was on the job. He said he wanted his strategy to make an example of those companies that had not complied with the law. The EPA and Republican lawmakers have been at odds this year, as Republicans have introduced legislation that would stop or slow down the rules the agency has on pollution.
They have said that the EPA rules would create shutdowns of refineries and power plants and lead to increased energy costs for the consumer, as they try to recover from the financial crisis and sluggish economy. The measures introduced by the GOP have run into problems in the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats.