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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says EPA official was right to resign over crucifixion comments

Sen. Jim Inhofe said Monday that it was “only right” for a key Environmental Protection Agency official to resign for comparing the agency's enforcement approach to Roman crucifixions. Al Armendariz was the top EPA official in region that includes Oklahoma and Texas.
by Chris Casteel Published: May 1, 2012

Inhofe has accused the Obama administration of waging a war on fossil fuels and charged last week that the EPA targeted hydraulic fracturing — in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into a well to free oil and gas from rock formations — as a way to slow the boom in energy exploration in the United States.

Inhofe said Monday that Armendariz was “just being honest” with his crucifixion comments and that his resignation “in no way solves the problem of President Obama and his EPA's crucifixion philosophy.”

Inhofe said he would continue pressing the EPA for answers on why the agency had accused three companies of contaminating water but then “quietly walked back their accusations” when they had no definitive evidence.

Ken Kramer, director of the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement that Armendariz “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. … 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.”

Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, said, “While I support Mr. Armendariz's decision to resign, I also challenge the EPA to go even further to root out this troubling trend of hostility toward oil and gas production, in order to achieve our goal of powering our nation with affordable and stable sources of American-made energy.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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