oil and gas industry

Oil and Gas Companies: What this EPA Official Doesn't Understand


Government bureaucrats really need to stop talking when there's a camera present; otherwise, they might just get caught telling the truth about their agenda when the tape resurfaces.

Enter Dr. Alfredo Armendariz, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional administrator for Region 6, a region that oversees environmental regulations for energy companies in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Turns out, Armendariz doesn't like oil and gas shale production, and he's quite the history buff.

Joel Gehrke in Washington explains:

"Al Armendariz, a regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, explained in 2010 that he understands the EPA policy to be to "crucify" a few oil and gas companies to get the rest of the industry to comply with the laws.

"I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement," Armendariz said during a meeting in 2010. "It's kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they'd go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they'd run into, and they'd crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years."

Armendariz said that by finding companies that are "not compliant with the law and you make examples of them," the EPA could maximize its enforcement capability with limited resources. He added that "fines can get very high very quickly, and that's what these companies respond to.""

Breathe.

Let's forget the reference to killing dissidents for a second. That's a whole different therapy session.

There are a few important points that need to be addressed about this sort of rhetoric.

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