The EPA’s “crucify them” approach to regulation

A rather remarkable admission from the EPA’s Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz of his regulatory enforcement philosophy. Because he has limited manpower, and his region covers such a large area, he prefers the Roman method of crucifixion to achieve maximum effect:

On the upside: those companies under his purview are probably relieved he doesn’t look to Vlad the Impaler for inspiration.

  • Sara

    I’m surprised that this post hasn’t received more attention – as far as comments.

    Such “proof” of how the Obama administration targets the opposition, and uses its power to destroy is really what November is all about. Our government considers itself the nobility and the rest of us the common class, to be raped and pillaged to pay for an ever growing federal bureaucracy.

    These federal parasites then use our tax money to increase their power, expand their power base, to engage in a semi-civil war against taxpayers, all while calling it “public service.”

    That Mr. Armendariz actually used the term “crucify” is really an admission as to how this administration sees itself. Obama’s government is that of a Casear, who crucified anyone accused of plotting against him in a cruel and publicly humiliating way. Ironically, this is not the only comparison we could make between Obama and Caesar.

  • Evan

    He’s talking about crucifying companies THAT ARE BREAKING THE LAW, not just randomly doing it. Look at the full quote:

    Here’s the reported quote:

    “It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

    And here are the lines immediately after those:

    “And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up.”

    It’s pretty clear that while he may have used words that are too strong he really just meant that they should prosecute a couple of cases where someone broke the law in a splashy way to deter future lawbreaking. Not really that radical an idea.

  • Tim J

    “he really just meant that they should prosecute a couple of cases where someone broke the law in a splashy way”… like we don’t have enough “splashy” legal crucifixions by this administration already against individuals, states and corporations who are on their master enemies list. In the next term of this administration, the crucified bodies of their victims will be hanging on crosses lining the national mall to instill fear and respect for their power, and as a message that you will be hung on display with the rest of the guilty corpses as they arbitrarily assign and convict you of a crime against their authority.

  • Sara

    Sorry Evan, your defense of radicalism won’t fly.


    “Just ask the Sacketts about the EPA’s idea of “ethical enforcement.” They ruled that the land that the Sacketts bought were wetlands after the Sacketts starting building a house on residential-zoned land even though it had not been classified as such beforehand, and then refused to allow them to access the court system without paying tens of thousands of dollars each day that they delayed the EPA’s mandated abatement. The Supreme Court hit the EPA with a unanimous smackdown on a process which could only be called a financial crucifixion of the Sacketts, and a lesson to everyone else — just as Armendariz described in the video.”

  • Brian E

    It’s a control/intimation tactic, not much of a punish mechanism. Crucifying the first five people isn’t enforcement, they’re thugs.

    This guy doesn’t look like someone who’d be going around crucifying people. One of those first five guys may turn on him. Guess he was bullied in school.

    Well put Tim.

  • Sara

    It follows a pattern, one you can’t deny, Evan.

    Barack Obama has an enemies list that would make Caesar envious. According to the WSJ:

    “He’s targeted insurers, oil firms and Wall Street—letting it be known that those who oppose his policies might face political or legislative retribution…

    … The White House even ginned up an executive order (yet to be released) to require companies to list political donations as a condition of bidding for government contracts. Companies could bid but lose out for donating to Republicans. Or they could quit donating to the GOP—Mr. Obama’s real aim.”

    The Obama administration targeted Gibson Guitars (raided them twice) – the CEO happens to be an outspoken Republican. Still no evidence of wrongdoing by Gibson, either.

    Now we find out that Obama is resorting to calling out Mitt Romney’s donors by name, singling them out for “betting against America” — these are private citizens:

    Is Obama hoping his army of enforcers will catch his drift, and on their own volition, supposedly, take to the front yards of these private Romney donors in protest, while the instigator in Chief feigns surprise and mock horror that they would take his words out of context? (Right)

    Like I said, it’s a pattern. The Chicago (thug) way.

  • Evan

    Again, I think this is a tempest in a teapot. A guy charged with enforcing the law wanted to throw the book at some people who are breaking the law so the rest might shape up.

    That’s a reasonable law enforcement principle.

    If you disagree with the laws being enforced, then lets get our representatives to change them.

  • Tim J

    “A guy charged with enforcing the law wanted to throw the book at some people who are breaking the law so the rest might shape up.” “enforcing the law” is not what the EPA Administrator said, sounding like an Islamic “Imam”, when he talked about “crucifixion”, which is in effect destroying or killing “examples” of those “breaking the law”. I would consider the use of this violent rhetoric another Fatwa issued against “corporatist” infidels and another milestone on our path towards the administration’s implementing some principles of Sharia Law.

  • An “Example” apologizes for occasional brutality against selected victims while claiming a hollow dedication to a greater good. I’m betting the IRS dogs Rush Limbaugh a bit more when a Democrat is in the White House. The rule of law, we agree on, but part of that depends on the fair and equal application of it. Making an “example” indicates extra punishment in order to drive home a point. That isn’t justice and it isn’t America.

    Evan, what you suggest allows too much discretion in the use of power. It is through tools like that and the selective IRS auditing etc., that proves that there needs to be a check on government. Justice should be blind. Law enforcement is objective enforcement followed by reasonable penalty fitting the crime. There is a reason for prohibitions against “cruel and unusual” examples.

    I wasn’t aware that the government needs to use heavy handed “examples” for marketing purposes.

    Rule by fear and intimidation…..nice.

    And another thing, I thought the Democrats are all for “toning down” the violent language! Hypocrites. See, this is not about right and wrong. This partisan bickering is about who gets to be the abuser. Maybe one day, somebody will decide to be the bigger party and break the cycle. That would be a fine “example”.

  • Sara

    Amen Britt!

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