A year ago in March, an Investor's Business Daily editorial ("America's Enemies Don't Want U.S. Drilling") informed readers that "the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington put out a Twitter post expressing disappointment that the documentary 'Gasland' didn't win an Academy Award." Specifically: "Sadly, 'Gasland' didn't win an Oscar, because a Vzlan helped make it," Venezuela's Twitterer whined." IBD went on to note that "Gasland" had "a Venezuelan production assistant, Irene Yibirin, who ... (has) ties to the (Chavez) government's Foundation National Cinematheque. ... [O]n the site, she praised Chavez."
Why is this relevant? Well, as another IBD editorial on Thursday noted, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz, who became deservedly infamous last week when his public articulation of his "Crucify Them" philosophy towards enforcement of environmental laws and regulations in a speech a year ago was exposed, really loves the film, which industry officials have shown is riddled with deceptions and outright falsehoods. Not only that, he was also involved in making it:
Armendariz said in the same speech his proudest moment in his first year at EPA was to have its enforcers watch “Gasland,” an anti-fracking propaganda documentary financed by the government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, who also opposes all U.S. drilling. Armendariz collaborated with its makers, and got his name in the credits.Story Continues Below Ad ↓
IBD could have and perhaps should have gone much further in its criticism of Antagonistic Al. Armendariz, whose resume communicates what should be a high level of relevant scientific expertise, had to throw any fealty he had to the scientific method overboard by becoming associated with the "Gasland" and praising its final result.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America's Energy In Depth blog thoroughly debunked so much of what is in "Gasland" in June 2010 that one almost has to conclude that the list of truths in the film was miles shorter than the list of false assertions and contentions. The film misstated facts about provisions in laws passed by Congress; misrepresented the degree to which fracking is currently regulated; completely miscommunicated key facts relating to the fracking process; recycled long-discredited environmentalist memes; and in at least seven instances, in the blog post's words, was "just making stuff up." In February 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ignored industry objections to the film's eligibility for an Academy Award. Well, at least it didn't win. Sorry, Hugo.
Further, it would appear that:
Armendariz's involvement with "Gasland," especially as an alleged scientist, his praise of its deeply deceptive content, and his eagerness to brainwash his subordinates with it, all should make it obvious that he is unfit to hold his EPA post or any other position involving regulation.
Following the lead of the Obama administration, which IBD correctly asserted is protecting Armendariz, the establishment press is ignoring the aforementioned crucial elements of this story. Just two examples: The Associated Press, which on Thursday covered the EPA administrator's "apology" while erroneously reporting that Armendariz's outlook only applies to "bad players" who are "not complying with the law (Christopher Helman at Forbes made mincemeat of that claim by recounting the EPA's fantasy-based attempted crucifixion of Range Resources), has done no follow-up story in the intervening 2-1/2 days. Similarly and just as incorrectly, John M. Broder at the New York Times's Green Blog on Thursday claimed that Armendariz's crucifixions remarks targeted "some violators of pollution laws." Helman demonstrated that Range Resources violated no laws, and thanks to its corporate spine eventually forced an EPA courtroom retreat.
What's described here exemplifies yet again how reading key stories and editorials at Investor's Business Daily is indispensable if one wishes to be truly informed, because it so often addresses and exposes matters the establishment press should be covering -- and won't -- and is absolutely fearless in calling them out.
As to Armendariz's continued presence at EPA, I wrote on Thursday that "If this guy holds onto his job — forget the 'apology,' which can’t possibly undo Armendariz’s outlook as practiced — we will know all we need to know about the Obama administration’s regulatory mindset."
Well, now we know, and there can be no remaining doubt.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.