The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional chief, Al Armendariz, resigned, effective Monday, after a controversial 2010 video surfaced last week. The video included Armendariz pledging to “crucify” gas and oil companies that break the law. Armendariz was the Region VI Administrator for the EPA and Texas was included in the five-state energy-rich region Armendariz oversaw. Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul came forward to discuss Armendariz’s resignation on Tuesday.
“Last week, I joined my GOP colleagues in the Texas delegation in calling for Mr. Armendariz’s removal. So I am pleased with his resignation. However, I do not expect Mr. Armendariz’s resignation to change anything at the EPA,” said Congressman Ron Paul. “Actions speak louder than words, and the EPA’s actions toward small businesses, farmers, and local communities in Texas clearly show that Mr. Armendariz’s desire to figuratively crucify Americans with excessive regulations is an agency-wide sentiment.”
Many Republicans wish to investigate much Armendariz accomplished while in office at the EPA. Several businesses claim they were slighted by Armendariz’s office with “trumped-up charges and negative comments in the media“. Many of these charges were later withdrawn, unfortunately too late for the damaged reputations of many businesses.
One example is the EPA’s 2010 emergency stop-drilling order in Parker County, Texas against the natural-gas drilling company, Range Resources. The EPA claimed that residents complained of contaminated water. The EPA dropped all claims last month.
“For example, Matagorda County, in my congressional district, is currently battling the EPA over its claim that the county is an ‘Ozone Nonattainment Region,’ even though emissions from the county have declined in recent years! This is just one of many examples of how the EPA has abused its authority by imposing onerous, job-destroying regulations on Texas’ communities, businesses, and individuals,” said Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. “Obviously, the EPA’s harassment of Texans will continue if President Obama is reelected. However, there is little in the record, as opposed to the rhetoric, of Governor Mitt Romney to suggest that he will act aggressively to rein in the administrative state.”
Armendariz apologized last week, however, calls for his resignation did not cease. Armendariz claims he regrets his comments and doesn’t wish to be a distraction to the agency. His full resignation letter may be viewed at Dallas News.