Internal EPA emails released Tuesday show an agency hostile to new energy production in the U.S. and an effort at “shaming” states into complying with Obama administration environmental priorities, according to the top Republican on the Senate environment committee.
The emails could end up causing problems for Gina McCarthy, an assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency who was tapped by President Obama to become overall administrator, succeeding Lisa P. Jackson, who announced her resignation this year.
In a letter to Ms. McCarthy on Tuesday, Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, and four Republican colleagues asked her to explain her connections to Al Armendariz, who resigned last year as EPA’s Region 6 administrator after saying he wanted to “crucify” oil and gas companies he believed were violating the law.
Mr. Vitter also released some of Mr. Armendariz’s emails, obtained in a broader investigation of EPA emails, and released several portions Tuesday showing Mr. Armendariz was pleased with rules and restrictions EPA was pursuing on power generation.
“We have set things in motion, including empowering and shaming the states, to clean up the oil/gas sector,” Mr. Armendariz said in the email. “Further progress is inevitable. I am extremely proud of the work that we have done collectively. Gina’s new air rules will soon be the icing on the cake, on an issue I worked on years before my current job.”