The Corner

EPA Expands Its Mission To Crucifixion

Free nations that respect the rule of law tend not to make examples of their citizens, much less crucify them. This rule of thumb, however, seems to have been lost on the EPA, an official from which had an interesting analogy to share in a video that has just surfaced:

I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said:

It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.

Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. 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.

Note that the speaker, Region VI administrator Al Armendariz, considered his words not to be inappropriate for a government agency to think or do but to say at a “meeting.” Note also that he didn’t consider them inappropriate enough to avoid repeating on camera, and that this was the second time he used them, despite his reservations about the first time. The video:

This morning, Mr. Almendariz said he regretted his “poor choice of words.” It was, he said, “an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws . . . I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws.”

One could argue that there was nothing whatsoever wrong with the “choice of words.” They betrayed perfectly what the EPA’s administrator wanted to say. Certainly, Senator Inhofe is not buying the apology. In a statement released today, he noted that,

with an election on the horizon, President Obama is pretending to be a friend of oil and natural gas, claiming he’s for an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach, but Administrator Armendariz’s comments reveal the true story: while President Obama has photo ops in front of pipelines in Oklahoma, his E.P.A. is working aggressively to ‘crucify’ oil and gas producers so they can end hydraulic fracturing, knowing full well that if you stop hydraulic fracturing, you kill domestic oil and gas production.

Senator Inhofe has promised an investigation into the EPA, and confirmed that the apology will not deter him from conducting one.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More