Under the Obama administration, wacko environmental groups were part of an underhanded scheme in which they were paid millions of taxpayer dollars and granted untold scores of regulatory concessions by a favorable EPA.
The system worked beautifully.
The Sierra Club, for instance, would sue the EPA for any number of reasons.
The EPA, citing a need to save taxpayers’ money and legal entanglement, would agree to settle the matter out of court.
Then behind closed doors, the agency would grant settlement terms that would give away the farm to the Sierra Club both in terms of cash and regulations.
And none of it was done with public scrutiny. But all that has come to an end this week.
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is hacking his way through the regulatory jungle getting rid of all the bureaucratic overgrowth and corruption.
Pruitt issued an agency-wide decree this week formally ending the so-called “sue and settle” racket.
Well done, Mr. Pruitt.
Here’s more from Redstate…
One of the most egregious things about the EPA has always been the way it operated for the benefit of the large “environmental” groups and against the interests of states, communities, and individuals. Perhaps the worst part of this criminal collusion was the way the EPA used lawsuits against the EPA, coordinated with environmental groups, to short-circuit the rule-making process, deprive the public of their right to petition the government and keep the coffers of environmental groups topped off with EPA cash.
This is how it worked:
“Sue and Settle “ practices, sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits”, are cozy deals through which far-left radical environmental groups file lawsuits against federal agencies wherein court-ordered “consent decrees” are issued based upon a prearranged settlement agreement they collaboratively craft together in advance behind closed doors. Then, rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action they and the litigants both want.
In other words, the agency throws the case, somewhat like Bre’r Rabbit agreeing to be thrown into a favorite brier-patch. A big difference however, is that in this case, Farmer McGregor and Mr. Rabbit were partners in the scam from the beginning. It’s the unwary American public that actually does get caught in the thorns.
While the environmental group is given a seat at the table, outsiders who are most impacted are excluded, with no opportunity to object to the settlements. Accordingly, both the litigants and the defendant agency, operating in coffee bars and friendly courtroom shadows, avoid the harsh outside glare of oversight. No public notice about the settlement is released until the agreement is filed in court…after the damage has been done.