Robert Knight

Mr. Obama has, in fact, done everything possible to discourage more sources, from halting new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, stifling offshore drilling in Alaska, and stopping the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Meanwhile, billions of taxpayer dollars flow to solar and wind company owners, who gratefully donate to the president’s re-election campaign before declaring bankruptcy.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson distanced herself from Mr. Armendariz’s remarks, calling them “inflammatory but also wrong.” This tells us that “inflammatory” stuff can also be true and right as rain. Remember this the next time some Obama spokesman or media hack calls Tea Party people “extremists” for expecting lawmakers to abide by the Constitution.

Ms. Jackson herself is no shrinking violet when it comes to power. Despite Congress’s failure to enact “cap and trade” carbon trading legislation, the EPA went ahead and began issuing regulations as if the law had passed. Since Mr. Obama threatened in 2008 to “bankrupt” any new coal-fired energy plants “because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted,”you could argue that Ms. Jackson is just being a loyal soldier, albeit a particularly eager one.

We could have seen this coming back when she was New Jersey’s Environmental Protection Commissioner. In 2007, Ms. Jackson yanked the tax exemption from the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s seaside pavilion property in Neptune Township for not hosting two lesbian civil union ceremonies. The church said that to use its property to celebrate sin would violate its biblical beliefs regarding sexual morality. But two homosexual activist groups had written to Jackson on September 6, 2007, requesting the denial, as did the ACLU of New Jersey in a separate letter.

Here’s how the New York Times explained it: “Every three years since 1989, the association has applied for, and received, tax exemptions for its boardwalk, beach and the pavilion under the Green Acres Program, designed to encourage the use of privately owned lands for public recreation and conservation. This is the first time any part of its application has been turned down.”

What’s an environmental agency got to do with levying taxes on church property? Beats me, except that they do these sorts of things in New Jersey. If you’re a Garden Stater who doesn’t like it, you can move to Pennsylvania, where Keystone State environmental bureaucrats can abuse you in their own ingenious ways.

Ms. Jackson has now been loosed upon the whole nation, using her EPA platform to rail against fossil fuels, especially coal. Last year, she keynoted the conference, the radical environmental youth group that has as a goal the formation of a five million-strong Clean Energy Job Corps. Think of Mao’s Red Guards dressed in Jolly Green Giant outfits and you get the picture.

The point is that the green movement’s expanding tentacles are empowering government at all levels. As Nancy Pelosi once said, “I’m trying to save the planet! I’m trying to save the planet!”

Indeed. But who will save America from the “inflammatory but also wrong” environmental movement and their government enablers?

Mr. Armendariz is not the only bureaucrat who dreams of crucifying fossil fuel producers, just the one who got caught dreaming out loud.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.