January 31, 2023

Sue-And-Settle Nets Environmentalist Groups Billions

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Readers of my work are mostly familiar with the abuses of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Just one of the tactics of abuse of this has been properly established is when environmental groups petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list so many species under protection of the Endangered Species Act, that it is impossible for the USFWS to address all of these requests. Under the rules of EAJA, if the USFWS does not address each request in a timely manner, government coughs up all the legal expenses to the environmental groups. It’s a giant cash cow.

Now we have “Sue-and-Settle”. According to Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review Online, environmentalist groups are raking in millions and costing taxpayers billions of dollars by suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only to have the EPA “settle” the case, therefore bypassing Congressional scrutiny and of course keeping actions out of sight of the public, while blaming the courts.

These environmental groups put together demands for regulations, hundreds of them, and sue the EPA, as allowed by law, to set up such regulations. Once the lawsuits are filed, here’s what National Review Online says happens:

The EPA then settles, negotiating the terms with the environmental groups without including those pesky states or industries sure to be affected by the new regulations. The court approves the consent agreement without analysis, as if it were a simple agreement between private parties. And once a settlement is reached, the court orders the EPA to issue rules according to the terms of its agreement.

Because the EPA is in agreement with the regulations being sued for, instead of fighting against them, they settle. This can only be construed as collusion between governmental and non governmental agencies in pursuit of common agendas.

If this brand of totalitarian suppression isn’t sickening enough, it gets worse. Not only do the new rules get enacted, per order of the court that worked the settlement, but you and I, the taxpayer, pick up the tab.

The costs of implementing these new rules are also paid for with tax money, the amount of which runs deeply into the billions. Should Congress question any of this, the comeback, evidently, is that the courts are forcing the EPA to do this.