EPA Official Says Goal Is to ‘Crucify’ Oil and Natural Gas Companies

Published April 27, 2012

EPA Regional 6 Administrator Al Armendariz says his philosophy on how to treat oil and natural gas companies is to arbitrarily “crucify” them.

Armendariz, who oversees EPA policy and enforcement in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, was caught on video explaining his arbitrary crucifixion strategy. Armendariz is answering a question about how EPA has interacted with oil and natural gas companies. 

“My philosophy of enforcement was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” Armendariz explained.

Armendariz has overseen EPA’s war on Texas environmental officials who EPA alleges haven’t been severe enough in cracking down on businesses in the state. 

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) responded to Armendariz’s comments by announcing he is launching an investigation of EPA’s enforcement tactics. Inhofe noted that shortly after Armendariz’s comments, EPA launched several enforcement actions against natural gas producers even though EPA never showed they had violated applicable environmental laws.