Roman legions? Horrific crucifixions? Sacking dissenters and making examples of their deaths?
These may sound like some of the gruesome tactics used by military commanders of the ancient world, but according to Al Armendariz, who, until recently, was regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s much more relevant to modern America than we’d care to believe.
Shockingly, these are all tactics Armendariz used to describe the EPA’s strategies for shutting down local energy plants and making examples of those who would dare question the draconian edicts of the EPA.
We in Kentucky should take somber note of such threats since it is our energy sector that the EPA’s legions have specifically targeted for “crucifixion” — all in the name of extreme environmentalism.
According to Armendariz, those in the current administration were not just whistling Dixie when they stated their goal to bankrupt all coal-fired power plants and Appalachia’s energy sector — an industry that directly provides Kentuckians with more than 70,000 jobs.
Kentuckians who disagree with the unilateral mandates handed down by these unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., could likely be made an example of, or worse.
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” Armendariz said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
The merciless general went on to reveal more of his heavy-handed plans: “you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not complying with the law … and you hit them as hard as you can.” This will act as a “deterrent” to others.
If this out-of-control agency has its way in Kentucky, it’s not just going to be the first five guys the EPA sees that get nailed to a cross. It’s going to be all 4.4 million of us who rely on Kentucky coal for some of the cheapest energy rates in the country — rates that attract businesses and desperately needed jobs from industries as varied as aluminum, steel and automotive.
What a David and Goliath story this has turned out to be.
We’ve suspected for some time that those at the EPA would use any terrible tactic available in their arsenal of federal firepower — funded by our tax dollars, mind you — to force their warped vision of the future of energy on individual states. But Armendariz’s comments make painfully clear the sort of imperial forces Kentucky must overcome in order to practice its sovereign right to regulate its own energy sector for the benefit of us all.
Still, Armendariz and the rest of the EPA should remember this: The Roman Empire did indeed collapse, and some of those pesky dissenters nailed to the cross in territories the Romans ruled as their own didn’t go so easily into the next life, forgotten and powerless.
And just as the ancient Romans couldn’t use their treacherous powers to subvert the deeply held beliefs of local populations, denizens of the Bluegrass State are not lying idly. Kentuckians are anything but intimidated. We won’t be made an example of.
On June 5 and 7, the generals of EPA’s legions will dare to step inside the borders of the commonwealth for public hearings in Frankfort and Pikeville, respectively.
I hope enough of my fellow Kentuckians show up at these meetings to turn back the EPA’s legions, making an example of our own out of a government agency that threatens the very way of life for an entire region of the country.
Jim Waters is president of the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Reach him at email@example.com.