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Senators David Vitter and James Inhofe requested this report from the GAO to find out how much money the EPA spends defending itself against lawsuits.

The purpose, I’m sure, was to reinforce the rhetoric that “Big Green” wastes taxpayers money.

Here’s the rub: The report shows that 30% of lawsuits came from environmental groups while almost 50% came from business and industry.

The Washington Times is competent enough to mention this fact and explore it a bit whilst railing against “Big Green” but Senator Vitter keeps plugging away like a child with his hands over his ears saying “Na na na I can’t hear you!”

“The GAO report shows that taxpayers have been on the hook for years while ‘Big Green’ trial lawyers have raked in millions of dollars suing the government,” said Vitter. “Even worse, because of sloppy record keeping by the EPA and other agencies and a lack of cooperation by the Justice Department, we’re not even sure how bad the problem really is. This is unacceptable and I’m going to continue working to demand greater transparency.”

Senator Inhofe sort of acknowledged that the facts don’t quite match the rhetoric when he says:

Today’s GAO report is the tip of the iceberg as we work to get to the bottom of just how many taxpayer dollars are going to pay attorneys’ fees in environmental suits.

The rhetoric is disingenuous and, while I’m not surprised, I am saddened.

It’s “Big Green” vs. Industry/Business. The battlefield is the EPA and the courts. Certainly, there is a lot of money spent on these battles but that’s how the system works. It would be one thing if the Senators wanted to somehow improve the system to spend less money on the balance between the Environment and the Economy. This, however, is clearly not the case. They are merely fighting on the side of Industry/Business under the guise of doing what’s right for America.

I wish that wasn’t the case.

  • SmittyPA

    I’ve sent emails to Sens Inhofe and Vitter asking them to investigate how much taxpayer money has been spent on lawsuits challenging “Obamacare”. I’m not going to hold my breath, lol

  • Tully

    You do know that the EPA encourages green groups to sue them in order to implement rules they cannot otherwise implement, right? That they frequently enter into consent decrees with same that pay all the attorney’s fees for the green groups suing? That they give piles of grant money to those same green groups that they encourage to sue them? That this is done for the express purpose of implementing rules they could otherwise not implement without a court order?

    They do NOT, of course, similarly subsidize business suits against them, nor in general enter into consent decrees to settle with them.

    I beliee that is the actual wastage that is being referred to. One would expect business groups to sue the EPA, but green groups get paid by the EPA to sue the EPA…at the EPA’s request. This has been going on for well over a decade.

  • Jacob

    Tully, I wasn’t aware of that. I wonder if that was factored into the study? Where can I read more about it? Aside from the actual report which I am headed to next.

  • WHQ

    You do know that the EPA encourages green groups to sue them in order to implement rules they cannot otherwise implement, right?

    Why would they need to do that? What prevents them from otherwise implementing those rules?

  • http://theunderstandingproject.com daniel noe

    What did I miss? How do we know for sure that vitter/inhofe are on the side of biz rather than on the side of America? I did’t see anything in this post that made me think they were either wrong or disingenous – aside from their being politicians of course.