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W.Va. gov candidate says EPA head should resign

By Michael P. Tremoglie and Chris Dickerson | May 2, 2012


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney is demanding Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin call for the firing of Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson.

Maloney also notes that Tombin, a Democrat, refuses to tell West Virginians whether he will be voting for President Barack Obama.

The renewed demand comes in the wake of the resignation of EPA's Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz who said he wanted to "crucify" those who stand in the way of EPA enforcement. Jackson did not ask for the resignation.

"While other Democratic career politicians are publicly stating that they are unsure of their support for Barack Obama, Earl Ray Tomblin stands steadfast in his support of Obama," Maloney said.

"Armendariz rightfully resigned over his 'crucifixion' remarks, and now Earl Ray Tomblin should call for Lisa Jackson to resign over her actions destroying the jobs of our coal miners.

"I will not be voting for Barack Obama. I will actively campaign against him, because defeating Obama is the best way to win the War on Coal.

"For the third week in a row, we are calling for Lisa Jackson to be fired. Al Armendariz resigned because of the public and political pressure put on Obama from his remarks. Earl Ray Tomblin needs to stop supporting Barack Obama and stand up for the families of West Virginia. Earl Ray Tomblin needs to put similar pressure on Obama to fire Lisa Jackson or to get her to resign."

Chris Stadelman, a spokesman for Tomblin's campaign, responded with a written statement saying, "Governor Tomblin has consistently battled President Obama's over-reaching EPA to defend West Virginia's coal industry, and he will continue to do so.

"He led the state's intervention on behalf of Arch Coal's Spruce permit, and a federal judge agreed that the EPA had exceeded its authority and ordered the permit be approved. He recently joined with other states to sue in opposition to the MACT Rule, another attack on West Virginia jobs, and he opposes the latest EPA efforts to eliminate West Virginia jobs with regulations that would effectively ban the construction of coal-fired power plants.

"Governor Tomblin consistently fights for our coal industry and for job-creators, and he will continue to do that."

Armendariz, whose full name is Alfredo Juan Armendariz, is a professor at Southern Methodist University's Lyle School of Engineering in Dallas. He was asked by President Barack Obama to serve as the Region 6 administrator in January 2010. The region includes the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

Armendariz said in his resignation letter Sunday that he regretted his comments. He told EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson:

"For the past 2 and 1/2 years I have been honored to serve as your administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 6. I entered this position, and into your administration, determined to Work on behalf of the American people to enact and carry out policies protective of our environment and the health and Welfare of our citizens, in particular for those disadvantaged Americans Who, more than anyone, lacked an ally in government to Work for their safety.

"As I have expressed publically, and to you directly, I regret comments I made several years ago that do not in any Way reflect my Work as regional administrator. As importantly, they do not represent the Work you have overseen as EPA administrator. I take great pride in having built a career based on integrity and hard Work. These are the principles that guide me personally as well.

"While I feel there is much work that remains to be done for the people of this country in the region that I serve, after a great deal of thought and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that my continued service will distract you and the agency from its important work."

Jackson said in a statement Monday, "Over the weekend Dr. Armendariz offered his resignation, which I accepted. I respect the difficult decision he made and his wish to avoid distracting from the important work of the Agency. We are all grateful for Dr. Armendariz's service to EPA and to our nation."

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