Congressman John Fleming, M.D. (LA-4) issued the following statement, calling for the resignation of an EPA official who illustrated his agency's strategy for dealing with oil and gas companies by comparing it to Roman crucifixion:
"I have seen the video of Al Armendariz and it's very disturbing. Mr. Armendariz, an administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency's Dallas office, described his enforcement philosophy with these words: "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 would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.'
"The use of threats and intimidation to force energy companies to submit to an extremist agenda may be fitting under a totalitarian regime, but it is never acceptable in the United States. The sad reality is that Mr. Armendariz employed this strategy. Without real evidence, the EPA tried to stop a company that was safely drilling with hydraulic fracturing. The case was finally dismissed earlier this year, but it stands as an example of the EPA's willingness to "crucify' energy companies.
"Mr. Aremdariz's apology for his remarks is simply not enough. He should no longer be in a position from which he can wield his authority to intimidate hard-working companies."