POLITICS

EPA official: 'Crucify' oil companies

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Al Armendariz, a regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, explained in 2010 that he understands the EPA policy to be to "crucify" a few oil and gas companies to get the rest of the industry to comply with the laws.

"I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement," Armendariz said during a meeting in 2010. "It's kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years."

Armendariz said that by finding companies that are "not compliant with the law and you make examples of them," the EPA could maximize its enforcement capability with limited resources. He added that "fines can get very high very quickly, and that's what these companies respond to."

In keeping with the Armendariz philosophy, the EPA announced today that "Hess Corporation has agreed to pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million in new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Port Reading, N.J., [petroleum] refinery." EPA and the Department of Justice had "alleged that the company made modifications to its refinery that increased emissions without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment."

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., drew attention to the video today on the Senate floor. "His comments give us a rare glimpse of the Obama administration's true agenda," he said. "No matter how much President Obam may pretend to be a friend of oil, gas, and coal, his green team constantly betrays that truth that the Obama administration is fully engaged in an all out war on hydraulic fracturing, thinking that people won't know that [if] you kill hydraulic fracturing, you kill the oil and gas production in America."

In keeping with the Armendariz philosophy, perhaps, the EPA announced today that "Hess Corporation has agreed to pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million in new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Port Reading, N.J., [petroleum] refinery." EPA and the Department of Justice had "alleged that the company made modifications to its refinery that increased emissions without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment."

H/T Lachlan Markay

 

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