Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has launched an investigation into the Obama-EPA's apparent "crucify them" and “incite fear” strategies targeted at American energy producers. This investigation will look into EPA's actions towards domestic energy production specifically in light of the agency's recent efforts relating to hydraulic fracturing.
Inhofe’s first move was to send a letter of inquiry To EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking for answers regarding an emergency order issued by EPA Region 6, which it justified by making unfounded claims that “houses could explode.”
After the region’s EPA administrator incited public fear in interviews by repeatedly warning of the “danger of fires and explosions,” the emergency order was quietly rescinded – but, the damage to public perception had already been done, Inhofe says.
“Parker, County Texas could be the most outrageous of the three cases and it took place in Region 6 where my home state of Oklahoma is located,” Inhofe said today in a Senate speech announcing the investigation.
Inhofe described how EPA Region 6 issued an Emergency Administrative Order overriding Texas state regulators actively investigating the claim hydraulic fracturing was contaminating well water.
“Along with this order, EPA went on a publicity barrage in an attempt to publicize its premature and unjustified conclusions,” Inhofe said.
In interviews, Regional Administrator Al Armendariz “made comments specifically intended to incite fear and sway public option against hydraulic fracturing” in which he cited multiple times a “danger of fire or explosion,” Inhofe said.
“When state regulators were made aware of EPA’s actions, they made it clear they felt the agency was proceeding prematurely to which Armendariz forwarded their reply to headquarters with a single-word message, ‘Stunning.’”
The EPA then “not only stepped backed their assertions but did so with a stunning lack of transparency strategically attempting to make these announcements as quietly as possible and at times they knew Congress wouldn’t be looking,” Inhofe says.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) will also investigate any connection of these tactics to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies - just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.
The EPA’s agenda, Inhofe said, is to “incite fear” in the public with unsubstantiated claims and “intimidate” oil and gas companies with threats of unjustified fines and penalties – then, quietly backtrack once the public’s perception has been jaded against oil and natural gas.
In his letter to Lisa Jackson, Sen. Inhofe asks the EPA chief:
“Do you believe it is appropriate for the Regional Administrator to make statements in which the Agency has ‘determined’ that due to a company’s actions, “houses could explode’ despite evidence known to Agency staff which would reasonably preclude such an outcome?”
Inhofe also questions Jackson to determine if these types of actions such are evidence of “the Agency’s preconceived conclusions and increasingly apparent political activism in an ever-intensifying pursuit to link hydraulic fracturing to groundwater contamination.”
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