EPA Honcho Resigns Over 'Crucify' Comments

Al Armendariz targeted by GOP over 2010 incident

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2012 12:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – The EPA's top administrator in the South and Southwest region has resigned over comments he made in 2010, in which he used the word "crucify" to describe his ideas about the EPA's enforcement policies, the AP reports. Republicans called for Al Armendariz to be fired after a video of his comments came to light last week. While answering a question about enforcement, Armendariz explained that in the Middle Ages, the Romans would enter a village that was causing problems and "take the first five guys they saw and crucify them," thus making the town "really easy to manage for the next few years."

He went on to say that the EPA makes "examples of people who are not complying with the law, you make examples out of them, use it as a deterrent method." Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said the comment was proof of the EPA's assault on energy, fracking in particular, and other Republicans used the comment to bolster claims that the EPA under President Obama is harming the economy with its harsh enforcement policies. The Dallas Morning News has Armendariz's resignation letter, in which he said that neither the White House nor the EPA administrator had asked for his resignation.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks during a news conference on greenhouse gases at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters on December 7, 2009 in Washington, DC.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks during a news conference on greenhouse gases at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters on December 7, 2009 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
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