Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe is not buying the mea culpa offered by the EPA official who bragged about the agency’s “crucify them” enforcement philosophy against oil and gas companies.
“His apology was meaningless,” Inhofe told The Daily Caller in a Thursday morning interview.
“You’re going to treat people like the Romans crucified the church? Get real,” he said.
According to Inhoffe, Obama-appointed Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz’s claim in his apology that the agency is focused on “fair and vigorous enforcement” isn’t supported by the facts.
“We get calls all the time saying ‘the EPA has just put us out of business.’ I always say, ‘send the [EPA’s] letter to me’ because it is a threat letter that is meant to scare them, to intimidate them and that is what they are doing,” Inhofe said.
Inhofe added that Armendariz did not apologize for the EPA wrongly accusing companies — like the Range Resources drilling company in Parker County, Texas — of misdeeds and then quietly withdrawing their complaints when the agency realized they could not withstand a court challenge.
Armendariz apologized Wednesday evening for the language he used in a 2010 speech Inhofe had highlighted on the Senate floor that morning.
“I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words,” Armendariz said in a statement provided to TheDC. “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.”