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.