Political notebook: EPA official takes heat from Inhofe on comments
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Sunday, April 29, 2012
4/29/12 at 2:32 AM
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe renewed his attack on the chief administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency region that includes Oklahoma.
In a speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Inhofe took the EPA's Al Armendariz to task for his answer to a 2010 question about enforcement of environmental regulations related to oil and gas drilling.
Armendariz compared his enforcement philosophy to Roman officers who "would go into a little Turkish town somewhere, the first five guys they'd find, they'd crucify them ... we make examples of people, in this case, who are not compliant with the law."
Armendariz apologized on Thursday for the remark.
In February 2011, Inhofe asked the EPA inspector general to look into Armendariz' handling of a water quality case in Texas involving a drilling company called Range Resources.
As a Southern Methodist University professor in 2009, Armendariz published a paper warning of emission hazards from the development of north Texas' Barnett Shale.
As an EPA administrator, Armendariz has frequently clashed with the oil and gas industry.
Muskogee representative criticizes GOP colleagues
State Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, a candidate for the Second Congressional District, sharply criticized his GOP colleagues in the Legislature late last week.
"Members of the Republican Party should champion smaller government and fight for family values, and we're refusing to take the lead," Faught said. "This is not what the people of Oklahoma elected us to do when they put Republicans in charge of the House, Senate and governor's office."
Faught was particularly upset about the failure of the so-called personhood bill to get a vote in the House and slackening momentum for a major income-tax cut.
"I am frustrated to see core Republican ideas on both social issues and fiscal policy gutted or killed," Faught said.
McVeigh comments draw calls for apology
State Republicans continued to hammer at Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins for saying Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a "right-winger" who "most likely would be a tea partier."
Collins was responding to state GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell's criticism of President Barack Obama for not issuing a statement on the April 19 anniversary of the bombing.
Pinnell has been urging state Republicans to bombard Democratic headquarters and the party's legislative leaders with demands for Collins to apologize.
Sullivan campaign accused of misleading campaign
Jim Bridenstine, the Republican primary challenger to First District Congressman John Sullivan, has accused Sullivan's campaign of using a misleading telephone campaign against him.
Bridenstine says the call questions the legitimate depreciation for tax purposes of alpacas he owned while living in California.
Sullivan office opens
Sullivan's campaign headquarters at 2816 E. 51st Street formally opened Saturday.
Jolley gets endorsement of state attorney general
The re-election bid of state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, got a boost last week with an endorsement from state Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Jolley, who has pushed perhaps harder than anyone in the Senate for a state income-tax reduction, is being challenged from the right by evangelist Paul Blair.