by Rick Manning
In July, Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) took on the little known radical environmentalist scam known as “sue and settle” where a green group acting in cahoots with the EPA or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sues the Agency demanding that they apply the law in a new, expanded way that increases the agency’s jurisdiction.
The agency, rather than defending the law, enters into a consent decree with the party who filed the original lawsuit. A judge signs the consent decree without review, since the two “disputing” parties are in agreement. Suddenly, the agency has new, expansive powers to wield against job creators. And then for the kicker, taxpayers have to foot the legal bills of the attorneys who filed the suit…
Westmoreland added, “Also included in these legally binding settlements are requirements that U.S. taxpayers must pay for the attorneys of the organization that initiated the action. According to a 2011 GAO report, between 1995 and 2010, three large environmental activist groups, like the Sierra Club, received almost $6 million in attorneys’ fees alone.”