Al Armendariz has officially tendered his resignation following a controversial video, which surfaced last week, and shows the Obama-appointed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regional chief claiming to “crucify” oil companies.
The video of Armendariz, which was filmed in 2010, includes the administrator speaking about enforcing the EPA rules through making an example of companies caught in a violation. In the video, he says:
“It was kind of like how 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’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
He goes on to state:
“And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there.”
The video came to light after Republican senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma mentioned it while announcing an investigation into questionable regulatory actions by the EPA.
Hours after Inhofe mentioned the video, Armendariz apologized for the analogy, stating that it was “offensive” and not an accurate characterization of what the EPA does. He went on to say that, “I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement.”
In his resignation letter, which The Dallas News has a copy of, Al Armendariz states:
“Today I am resigning my position as regional administrator. This was not something that was asked of me by Administrator Jackson or the White House. It is a decision I made myself. I had become too much of a distraction, and no one person is more important than the incredible work being done by the rest of the team at EPA.”
Check out the video here of Al Armendariz’s “crucify” comment here: