Conservative media are dutifully running with
the latest faux-outrage story orchestrated by Senator Inhofe (R-OK), who is circulating comments
made two years ago by regional EPA administrator Al Armendariz about the difficulty of enforcing environmental safeguards.
At a May 2010 meeting in Dish, Texas, a town plagued with
pollution from natural gas operations, Armendariz was asked how regulators can "keep on top" of the "explosion" of drilling in the area. Using words that he admitted at the time were "probably a little crude" and for which he has since apologized
, Armendariz compared his enforcement approach to the Romans crucifying a few to gain compliance of the many, saying that strong enforcement against oil and gas companies that "are not complying with the law" can have a "deterrent effect" on other companies who will "decide at that point that it's time to clean up." While his analogy was unfortunate, the concept of using limited enforcement resources to target major violators is common sense.