HOUSTON (AP) — A top administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has apologized for using the word "crucify" when describing the agency's enforcement policies, and for saying it makes examples of bad players in the oil and gas industry.

EPA Region 6 administrator Al Armendariz issued a written apology Wednesday after video surfaced of him at a meeting in Texas in May 2010.

Armendariz was answering a question about EPA enforcement. The video shows him saying that in the Middle Ages, the Romans would enter a troublesome town, "take the first five guys they saw and crucify them."

Then the town would be "really easy to manage for the next few years." He then said the EPA similarly makes examples of oil and gas companies not complying with the law.

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