Today's resignation of Al Armendariz, Dallas region administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, sparked new reactions that began last week with the release of a 2010 video that shows Armendariz comparing the agency's enforcement efforts with those of Roman conquerors who crucified several random inhabitants to control occupied communities. Here is a sampling of responses issued today.
Texas Council on Environmental Quality:
"While we approve the decision by Dr. Armendariz to step down from his position as Region 6 Director, we are under no illusions that this will change the direction of the EPA. That comes from EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. In the video that led to his resignation, Dr. Armendariz says as much, stating, “…that’s our general philosophy.”
This EPA administration has been unwavering in its determination to impose new regulations and new costs on Americans and American industry, often without any real scientific determination that new laws will result in any environmental benefits. Dr. Armendariz’s mistake was that he slipped and unveiled the EPA’s questionable and draconian enforcement philosophy. The TCEQ hopes that perhaps the resulting nationwide cry of outrage will be heard in Washington, D.C."
Ken Kramer, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter director
“The resignation of Dr. Al Armendariz as Region 6 EPA administrator is a major loss for Texas. He brought a breath of fresh air – literally and figuratively – to Texas in his vigorous enforcement of the federal Clean Air Act. He took the bold steps that have been needed for decades to move our state forward to achieving a clean and healthy environment for Texans. Dr. Armendariz was one of the best Region 6 EPA administrators who have served since the post was created in the 1970s. The only people who will celebrate this resignation are the polluters who continue to foul Texas air and the politicians who serve those special interests.”
Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter
“In March, when the EPA vacated the emergency order against Range Resources, I called for the resignation of Dr. Armendariz. The EPA’s faulty science in persecuting Range
Resources, compounded by his inflammatory and prejudicial comments about
crucifying oil companies, is a very clear indication that Dr. Armendariz
is not the right person for such an important position.”
Steve Everly, Energy In Depth
"There’s a role for activists and there’s a role for regulators. When one becomes the other, that’s when you can run into problems. The bigger story here was always that his comments weren’t just made in isolation – they were made just before his agency did exactly what he described in this video, grabbing the first company he saw and issuing a groundless endangerment order, which would later be proven as such. We're hopeful that the next administrator’s decisions will be based more on actual science than the political stuff."
James Inhofe, R-Okla.
"It was only right for Administrator Armendariz to resign today, but his resignation in no way solves the problem of President Obama and his EPA’s crucifixion philosophy."
-- Jim Fuquay