A top EPA official has apologized for comparing his agency’s enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion — as Republican Sen. James Inhofe launched an investigation and told Fox News the comments are part of a campaign of “threats” and “intimidation.”
Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a “crude” analogy he once told his staff about his “philosophy of enforcement.”
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them.
“And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” he said.
Armendariz went on to say that “you make examples out of people who are in this case not complying with the law … and you hit them as hard as you can” — to act as a “deterrent” to others.