Poe was speaking about EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who was just reported as making the comparison in 2010. He was quoted as comparing his job of enforcing EPA rules with the job the Romans did by saying, "It is kind of like how the Romans used to conquer the villages in the Mediterranean — they'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere and they'd find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. Then that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."

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Armendariz has since apologized, but Poe and other Republicans said today that his comments show the EPA has it out for the fossil-fuel energy industry.

"The comments made by Administrator Armendariz back in 2010 confirm what we've known all along: the EPA's crusade to destroy the oil and gas industry is a politically premeditated effort, not one meant to protect the environment," Poe said earlier today. "Administrator Armendariz's words reflect his disdain for the oil and gas industry and make clear that his decisions are made without an ounce of impartiality."

Earlier Thursday, Rep. John FlemingJohn Calvin FlemingLobbying world Trump wants Congress to delay Census deadlines amid pandemic Meadows sets up coronavirus hotline for members of Congress MORE (R-La.) said Armendariz's comments show that "the EPA is out to get you and crucify you."