EPA Funds Green Groups That Sue The Agency To Expand

July 7, 2011 07:30

The EPA even tacitly encourages such suits, going so far as to pay for and promote a “Citizen’s Guide” that, among other things, explains how to sue the agency under “citizen suit” provisions in environmental laws. The guide’s author — the Environmental Law Institute — has received $9.9 million in EPA grants over the past decade. – IBD

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Indeed, several environmental groups that have received millions in EPA grants regularly file suit against that same agency. A dozen green groups were responsible for more than 3,000 suits against the EPA and other government agencies over the past decade, according to a study by the Wyoming-based Budd-Falen Law Offices.

“The EPA isn’t harmed by these suits,” said Jeffrey Holmstead, who was an EPA official during the Bush administration. “Often the suits involve things the EPA wants to do anyway. By inviting a lawsuit and then signing a consent decree, the agency gets legal cover from political heat.”

Holmstead called this kind of litigation “sweetheart suits.”

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., who heads the Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power panel, warns that environmental policy is increasingly being “being determined by privately settled lawsuits and monetary payoffs with absolutely no input from elected representatives.”

Other examples of EPA grantees suing the agency:


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