One of President Obama's radical eco-bureaucrats has apologized for confirming an indelible truth: This White House treats politically incorrect private industries as public enemies who deserve regulatory death sentences.
Environmental Protection Agency administrator Al Armendariz, an avowed greenie on leave from Southern Methodist University, gave a little-noticed speech in 2010 outlining his sadistic philosophy. "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," he began. In a video obtained and released by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Armendariz then shared his bloody analogy:
"It was kind of like how 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. ... So, that's our general philosophy."
Echoing President Obama's "punch back twice as hard" treatment of his political enemies, Armendariz explained to his underlings that "you hit them as hard as you can, and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don't want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it's time to clean up."
In other words: Suck up, fly left, or face prosecution. The goal isn't a cleaner environment. The goal is political incitement of fear.
Publicly humiliated by the video release of the persecution strategy session, Armendariz said he regretted his "poor choice of words" this week. "It was 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."
Tyrannical actions, of course, speak louder than weasel words. And the record shows that Obama environmental overlords run amok.
It was Obama's power-mad Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who vowed to keep his "boot on the neck" of BP after the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner colluded on a fraudulent report -- condemned by federal judges -- that completely distorted a White House-appointed expert panel's opposition to the administration's job-killing, industry-bashing drilling moratorium.
It was Obama's EPA that railroaded a senior government research analyst for daring to question the agency's zealous push to impose greenhouse gas rules. When Alan Carlin asked to distribute an analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases that didn't fit the eco-bureaucracy's blame-human-activity narrative, he was gagged and reprimanded: "The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. ... I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office." Public relations management trumped truth in science, the deliberative process and fairness.
It was Obama's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cahoots with the witch hunters at the Department of Justice, that raided Gibson Guitar factories in Memphis and Nashville three years ago over an arcane endangered species of wood. The guitar police have yet to bring charges, leaving the company in costly legal limbo.
And as Inhofe pointed out in response to Armendariz's "apology": "Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best -- and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link."
Indeed, Armendariz the Executioner tried nailing a drilling company -- Texas-based Range Resources -- to the cross in 2010 with an emergency declaration that its fracking work in the Lone Star State had contaminated groundwater. The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry, found no scientific evidence of the Obama EPA's claims.
Forbes magazine reported: "In recent months a federal judge slapped the EPA, decreeing that the agency was required to actually do some scientific investigation of wells before penalizing the companies that drilled them. Finally in March the EPA withdrew its emergency order and a federal court dismissed the EPA's case."
Vice President Joe Biden is right about Obama's "big stick." Too bad he's using it to beat down America's domestic energy producers and wealth creators instead of our foreign enemies.