Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and House Republicans have launched an investigation into EPA enforcement tactics in light of EPA official Al Armendariz’s videotaped declaration that his “philosophy” is to “crucify” oil and natural gas producers. In a letter, the Republicans say they will now do whatever they can to get Armendariz to testify – having been previously snubbed by Armendariz when they requested his attendance:
“As this will be our second request to have you appear before our Committee, and in light of the seriousness of the concerns that need to be addressed, the Committee is prepared to use all authorities at its disposal to ensure your attendance.”
Armendariz’s state “crucify them” philosophy “raises significant concerns about environmental enforcement both in your region and across the agency, including with respect to energy production,” wrote the members.
“In light of this concern, we seek to examine how enforcement policies are being developed and implemented in your region,” wrote House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Upton and co-signing Republicans.
On the Senate side, Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also spoke out about the Obama administration’s desire to “punish” those who want to build the northern half of the Keystone oil pipeline, praising the builder’s refusal to be intimidated by the administration’s opposition:
“[T]he President’s ideological outlook and the policies that have grown out of it will only continue to drive up the cost of gasoline at the pump.”
“And that’s why many of us were pleased when the company that’s responsible for building Keystone said it plans to move forward with the southern portion of the pipeline, despite the administration’s decision to block the northern portion, to alleviate a bottleneck in Cushing, Oklahoma.”
“They’re just not going to let this administration punish them or the rest of those who want to build this pipeline,” Sen. McConnell said in a Senate speech last week.
Armendariz’s “crucify them” comments were brought to the public’s attention last week by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) who quoted the YouTube video in a House floor speech.
The video was subsequently removed from YouTube, but may still be viewed below.
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