Armendariz Under Fire For “Crucify” Comment

To his Dallas supporters he’s a heartening source of hometown pride, a guy who’s doing the Lord’s work at the Environmental Protection Agency. To his critics he’s an activist environmentalist in regulator’s clothing, a progressive ideologue who, given his druthers, would run roughshod over one of Texas’s most important industries. Now Al Armendariz, who heads the EPA’s region 6, has just given his critics a lot of good ammunition.

In a speech, Armendariz said, “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 would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.” And, the former SMU prof added, that tack’s a good one for going after energy companies, too.

Armendariz apologized after a video of his talk emerged. But that hasn’t stopped some from calling for his head. The same calls went up several years ago after W’s HUD Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, said something equally stupid in a speech in Dallas that was reported by D CEO‘s now-managing editor Christine Perez. Jackson was rightfully “crucified” for that, pardon the reference. Doesn’t Armendariz deserve equal treatment?


  • Brown Bess

    Good point, except that he’s talking about companies that have VIOLATED the law, not energy companies in general. And he prefaces it by saying it’s a crude metaphor. It’s OK when a hard nose judge or DA makes an example out of a unrepentant street criminal, but don’t you dare try to use the same strategy on corporate criminals? And Glen, if you read the reason why EPA withdrew in the Range Resources case, you know that it wasn’t based on the merits, but on a procedural ruling by another court entirely. You’ve been after this guy since Day One. Give it a rest.

  • Laray

    To his supporters, Armendariz is scientist who specializes in analyzing atmospheric emissions. As far as the Lord’s work, the EPA was established by a Republican president, Richard Nixon.

  • Point of clarification: Armendariz didn’t “just” give his critics ammo. He made those remarks in 2010. Wonder why it took so long for the video to surface.

  • Mike

    Nah, liberals can say what they want and are never held accountable.

  • @Laray: Pow! Take that, Glenn!

    Here’s a Q&A we did with Armendariz the same year he made the crucify remarks.

  • zobzerto

    @Mike Not sure if you’re being serious.

  • Dubious Brother

    @TIm – ” He made those remarks in 2010. Wonder why it took so long for the video to surface.” I haven’t looked into this in detail but it might just be his actions since he made the threat.

  • Vseslav Botkin

    Conservatives are against so-called political correctness, except when they aren’t.

  • The EPA is mandating vapor recovery Green Completions (in 2.5 years-what a grace blessing to the industry). Urban drilling Breathers and the ever-so-much-more-warmed-now environoment should ask why didn’t the methane loss equipment be standard in the first place? And prior to this Green Completion, the toxic flowback is wafting into neighborhoods and NO ONE is fixing that. “Crucify the culpret” is too light of a sentence when my child dies of early cancer.

  • Glenn Hunter

    @Vseslav Botkin: This story doesn’t have anything to do with political correctness. Like the Alphonso Jackson story, it’s about equal treatment and about public officials–you know, the ones who are supposed to be “fair” and “even-handed”–caught revealing their true colors.

    @Brown Bess: According to stuff I’ve read the Range outcome was about EPA retrenchment, part of a pattern. First you get wild anti-industry charges by headline-grabbing, anti-fossil-fuel bureaucrats, then retreat once the facts come in.

  • Obama’s Seat

    Romans went to Turk Villages?

    Quite a feat.

  • Dubious Brother

    @Kim Feil – If you think your child will die of early cancer because of the neighborhood that you live in you should move. Are you immune to the cancer or are you just parroting anti-industry scare phrases?

    Come on over to my neighborhood where your 17 year old daughter can get raped and stabbed by a 59 year old junkie that should have been taken off the streets years ago.

  • PeterK

    The EPA doesn’t just go after companies to ‘crucify’ but also individuals. Have you heard about the Sacketts?

  • PeterK

    “The EPA is mandating vapor recovery ” except Kim the companies are already putting in place vapor recovery devices because it makes economic sense. Would a gold mine not try to recover as much gold as it can? the same goes for the gas companies they don’t want to see product dissipated into the sky,that is like throwing away money

  • Wilson

    Gleen are you bought and paid for by the industry? Do your homework… you are a journalist. EPA doesn’t just go after companies, natural gas drilling is poisoning our community. We should be applauding him. FINALLY a real scientist in the right place to do the right thing and you crucify him. Shameful!

  • ket

    I think a better anology would have been with traffic enforcement. Set a speed trap on a road known to have a lot of speeders, catch a few of them and the others will see what you are doing and slow down for a time.

    There is no need to go after every speeder to get reduced speeds in the area. Cost/benefit of the extrra officers just doesn’t make sense.

    Now, speed cameras sort of topple that cart by making it very low cost to go after every speeder, but I don’t know of any equivalent technology in the environmental field.

    The key difference between my anology and the one above is the lack of the word crucify. Otherwise, I think this is exactly what he is talking about. Visible enforcement deters violations by others.

  • Wm. B. Travis

    When not transferring their own tortured souls, the liberal is always arrogant enough to tell you what he really thinks. Too bad his knowledge isn’t rooted in fact, but powered by envy and the less-effortfull buck.

    So retrograde. Trains, non-petrol cars, dictators. Cheaper to cut out the middle men and just have direct rule from DC. Perhaps the Feds will get too overconfident and abolish HPISD. Now that might get the attention of the Romney voters. And wouldn’t Schutze enjoy that! He might even take that worn-out rubber band off his wad of $100s and spring for a place in HP from which to enjoy the show.

    You take a solar-powered jet to New York, Tim. Tell me how that works out.