MAYBE AL ARMENDARIZ — until Monday, one of the Environmental
Protection Agency’s top administrators — didn’t mean his comments to
sound quite how they did. But they didn’t sound good. In a 2010 speech,
now circulating online, Mr. Armendariz compared his “philosophy of enforcement” to ancient Roman soldiers’ practice of crucifying random victims in recently conquered territory.
The most reasonable interpretation is also among the most
disturbing — that Mr. Armendariz preferred to exact harsh punishments on
an arbitrary number of firms to scare others into cooperating. This
sort of talk isn’t merely unjust and threatening to investors in energy
projects. It hurts the EPA.
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