Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today responded to the appointment of Ron Curry, head of the New Mexico Environment Department, to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 Administrator. Mr. Curry will replace Al Armendariz, who recently resigned after he was caught on video admitting the EPA's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of American energy producers.
"In typical EPA fashion, the agency released yet another late Friday afternoon statement - this time to inform us that Ron Curry will replace Al Armendariz of 'crucify' fame to oversee the largest oil and gas producing region in the country," Senator Inhofe said. "The timing of the announcement is the first red flag, and while I look forward to learning more about Mr. Curry, various public comments attributed to him raise concerns.
"Mr. Curry has in the past expressed pride over shutting down coal fired power plants in New Mexico and has voiced concern with natural gas calling critical infrastructure a 'threat to air quality.' He has also expressed his staunch support for the Clean Water Restoration Act, a bill that would give the federal government control over every body of water in America, including intermittent streams and irrigation ditches.
"This appointment, as well as the previous appointment of Al Armendariz, underscores the importance of my bill, the EPA Regional Oversight Act of 2012, which requires that regional administrators be confirmed by the Senate. We've already seen how much power and influence a Regional Administrator has to affect the development of our resources - that's why they must be held accountable.
"In my leadership role on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and as the Senator from Oklahoma in EPA's Region 6 reach, I will be providing extensive oversight of the Region 6 office as well as its new administrator."