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The Rogue EPA: Tip of the cross

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Thursday, May 3, 2012, 6:42 p.m.

An Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator's resignation over his 2010 enforcement comments heightens concerns about the Obama administration's jobs-killing, politically driven handling of energy and pollution issues.

A YouTube video documented Al Armendariz likening his enforcement approach to a tactic of ancient Roman conquest: "(T)hey'd find the first five guys they saw and they'd crucify them. ... And so you make examples out of people ... . There's a deterrent effect there."

It's one thing to make deterrent examples of polluters. It's another to order the regulatory equivalent of summary executions, something at which the EPA has shown it is quite adept.

And Mr. Armendariz's comments are especially troubling because they targeted hydraulic fracturing -- a proven and quite safe way to extract oil and natural gas and on which the nation's prosperity and security increasingly depend.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., made the video enough of an issue to force the resignation. Hopefully, his continuing investigation of EPA enforcement will reveal just how pervasive is what he calls the agency's "crucifixion philosophy."

But Armendariz's unguarded expression of the Obama EPA's disdain for cheap, abundant energy to power America's economy -- and, yes, even to export for America's financial benefit -- gives voters even more incentive to elect a new administration this November.

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