White House Press Secretary Jay Carney maintained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not "crucify" oil and gas companies and defended the official who said so from calls that he be fired from the EPA.
"Those comments are an inaccurate way to characterize the work that EPA does," Carney said during the White House press briefing. "Clearly, there is not an effort of the nature that you talk about," he added.
Carney was responding to questions about a video showing an EPA official describe his "philosophy of enforcement" during a 2010 meeting. "It's kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean," he said. "They’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years."
Carney added that the oil and gas production over the last three years shows that the comments were "provably inaccurate."
President Obama's spokesman also rejected calls for the EPA administrator to lose his job. "I think he's apologized and what he's said is clearly not representative of either the president's belief" or EPA practices, he said.