Apr 28, 2012

E.P.A. Official Spoke of 'Crucifying' Polluters - @NYTimes

A high-ranking Environmental Protection Agency official has apologized for remarks he made to subordinates suggesting that the agency “crucify” some violators of pollution laws to deter others.

Al Almendariz, an E.P.A. regional administrator, told employees that it would be useful to make an example of polluters by coming down hard on them, much as the Romans did when they conquered a village and publicly crucified resisters. Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican and frequent critic of the E.P.A., found a 2010 videotape in which Mr. Almendariz used the analogy and publicized it this week.

Mr. Almendariz said he regretted his “poor choice of words.”

“It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws,” he said in a statement first obtained by the Daily Caller and later distributed by Mr. Inhofe’s office. “I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws.”

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