EPA critics say the problem is bigger than enforcement. They point to regulations that they say hamper oil and gas production and raise refining costs, while giving an advantage to renewable fuels.
"It is this whole mentality that this administration continues to have as they try to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, as they force consumers off oil and gas," said Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group that represents the refineries and chemical plants that process oil and natural gas.
In articles, Drevna has written that "resignation or not, Obama and the EPA are determined to pursue policies that Armendariz so accurately described."
Critics also say that the data only tell part of the story, since it doesn't include violation notices or emergency orders — such as the one that Armendariz issued in 2010 to Range Resources to stop contaminating a drinking water well and to supply residents with clean water within 48 hours. The order was later withdrawn after a state court ruled that the evidence linking the company's hydraulic fracturing to the well's contamination had been falsified.
Plushnick-Masti reported from Houston
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers: http://www.afpm.org/
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