Well, this resolved itself before I even had a chance to comment:
The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South Central region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws.
Republicans in Congress had called for Armendariz’ firing after Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe highlighted the May 2010 speech last week as proof of what he refers to as EPA’s assault on energy, particularly the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
I’m with Althouse on this one. The problem with Armendariz’ comments wasn’t that they were controversial or offensive to Christians. The problem was that they were true.
This is how the EPA operates. And to be fair, it’s kind of how it has to operate. There aren’t enough regulators to check on everyone and make sure they are compliant with the law. So they compensate by coming down on the miscreants they do catch like a ton of bricks. That’s the entire basis of preventative law enforcement.
The problem is that the EPA can be very arbitrary in exactly who they come down on. His analogy is dead on: they are crucifying the first five people they run into, making examples of them whether they’ve really broken the law or not. They frequently punish people who’ve done nothing wrong and are known to prefer targets that lack the resources to fight an unjust persecution.
I have no problem with “crucifying” companies that flagrantly break the law and pollute the environment (example: BP, still awaiting prosecution). But I do have a problem with crucifying random businesses to make a point. Armendariz was caught revealing the way the game is played. And that bought him an appointment with the undercarriage of the nearest bus.