Energy and Commerce Committee Members Joe Barton (R-TX), John Sullivan (R-OK), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Pete Olson (R-TX), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) issued the following statement regarding the resignation of EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz:
"It was right for Dr. Armendariz to step down, but this does not address our longstanding concerns with the agency's enforcement and regulatory decision-making in Region 6, particularly within the energy sector. His resignation highlights our concern that EPA often fails to take a balanced and measured approach to policy and enforcement decisions. Our statutes vest EPA with tremendous authority and we expect that authority to be exercised with appropriate discretion. As we stated in our letter to Armendariz on Friday, we have a genuine concern that his comments reflect the agency's overall enforcement philosophy. EPA's response to that letter, along with testimony at an upcoming hearing, will assist the committee in examining this concern.
"Region 6 is home to a vibrant oil and gas sector which employs hundreds of thousands of Americans and provides the country with affordable and reliable American energy. The continued success of this industry is critical to our nation's economy and national security, but EPA's actions have demonstrated a will to stymie growth in this vital region. We will continue our rigorous oversight of the agency and its enforcement and policy decisions as it implements the laws that Congress has passed."