Most people don’t like to be sued. But if you’re an EPA regulator, being served a copy of a complaint might just make your day. Even better, you might be willing to help subsidize those organizations that make it a priority to sue your organization.
Plaintiffs attorneys and some states may have lost in AEP v. Connecticut (in which WLF filed an amicus brief), but that doesn’t mean they can’t sue the EPA in order to force it to expand environmental regulations even further. According to an Investor’s Business Daily article, environmental “green” groups have routinely sued the EPA, alleging it is not doing enough to combat such things like greenhouse emissions. The EPA settles with these groups, “tying its own hands” by agreeing to implement more strident rules. Rather than stand on its own in enacting politically controversial regulations, the EPA may prefer to point to the courts and absolve themselves of responsibility.
The article goes on to point out the fact that while the EPA doesn’t literally pay these groups money to sue it, they do give them grants for projects and programs ($6.5 million to the National Resources Defense Council since the year 2000, for instance). But where there is smoke, there may be fire. The EPA even publishes a guide on how to sue it written by none other than the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), a group that has received $9.9 million in the last decade. Coincidentally, ELI recently named John Cruden, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Justice Department (which works on EPA’s behalf in environmental cases) its President.
With accountability, transparency, and certainty increasingly diminished in our government’s regulation of industry, it should come as no surprise that environmental “green” groups are pulling out every trick they have to enact policy they favor. What is surprising is that this connection between the trial lawyers and the government regulators flies under the radar as “sweetheart suit” after suit is settled at the expense of the taxpayer. Until now.