Actions Against TX Company
Washington Free Beacon
A federal watchdog is investigating Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions against a Texas natural gas company that the agency claimed contaminated drinking water through its drilling activities in the state.
The investigation, initiated in July 2012 but announced publicly for the first time on Tuesday, could substantiate allegations that the agency ignored information in its investigation that might have cast doubt on its findings.
According to a letter from the EPA's inspector general, the investigation will seek to determine whether aggressive legal action taken by EPA's Region 6 office against Range Resources "conformed to agency guidelines, regulations, and policy." An IG spokesperson said the results of the investigation will be released "in the next several months."
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)--the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee when the investigation was initiated in July--and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), the current ranking member, requested the investigation.
"Given all that has come to light about EPA's 'crucify them' agenda ... Congress deserves a full explanation about this particular case," Inhofe said at the time.
"Crucify them" referred to comments by then-Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz, who compared his enforcement philosophy against oil and gas companies to Roman crucifixions.
That philosophy was on full display in the agency's actions against Range Resources, the EPA's critics say.
"There's been a blanket of secrecy at the EPA, but I think it's starting to unravel," Vitter told the Free Beacon when asked about the investigation.
"The EPA's agenda to stymie domestic energy production isn't isolated to Region 6--it's an epidemic, and I think this investigation may uncover further evidence of their war on traditional energy production," Vitter said.
A spokesperson for EPA's Region 6 office declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 02/13/2013
Editor's Note: With a pro-ecozealot President in the White House who needs not pander for re-election, it is quite possible that the Inspector General for the EPA is going to be incredibly busy the next four years...
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