U.S. Representative Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) expressed expectations for the next EPA Regional Administrator to engage professionally in solving North Texas' environmental challenges, following the resignation of EPA political appointee, Al Armendariz.
Dr. Burgess said a practiced pattern of hostility was illustrated by the Armendariz enforcement philosophy: Make an example of a select few domestic oil and gas producers to "crucify them." Dr. Burgess, representing North Texas on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, has sought to see that EPA and state officials work to effectively address groundwater and air quality concerns.
"The public expects an effective and professional approach to addressing their concerns about their water supply and air quality -- not the politically-motivated approach that I hope is gone with the resignation of EPA political appointee Al Armendariz," said Burgess, who had called for Armendariz to be fired after the comments that summarized an approach of scare tactics rather than effective enforcement to solve North Texans' environmental concerns.
Dr. Burgess encourages the next EPA Regional Administrator to support the congressman's ongoing efforts on behalf of North Texas residents:
· Encouraging full review and objective studies by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TECQ) and Dept of State Health Services.
· Support for environmental and industry groups to provide official public comments prior to proposed TCEQ regulations surrounding natural gas drilling permits.
· Active participation in U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee hearings in Texas and in Washington, D.C. regarding hydraulic fracturing.
· Working with local officials to address community concerns surrounding increased energy production in residential communities, including DISH and Flower Mound.
· Support municipal governments' decisions on oil and natural gas permitting, siting, and production within their localities.
· Resolve concerns with national gas drilling by using science to guide energy development.
· Working with the Texas Railroad Commission on specific complaints on well-water clarity.