Government Pays Huge Fees to Green Lawyers to Sue Government: Win Win for EPA Regulations

The Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) was put in place in 1980, and was designed to help small businesses protect themselves against lawsuits from environmentalists, and a predator EPA. Today, huge Leftist environmental groups are using the EAJA to secure mammoth fees for its attorneys by initiating lawsuits against big and small entities who are targets of government regulations and other green encroachments. It’s a slick collusion between government and environmentalists, a sick joke on you and me.


According to this Daily Caller article by Jacob Laskin (please read it all here), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is not ‘accountable’ for keeping track of these fees:

Still, we have some clues about the amounts at stake. In an August 2011 study, the GAO reported that between 2003 and 2010, the Treasury Department paid $14.2 million in attorneys’ fees just to those plaintiffs suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

That means that the total for all federal agencies is in the tens of millions of dollars every year.

EAJA thus serves as a hugely expensive vehicle of collusion between the government and environmental groups to advance the environmental movement’s political agenda on the taxpayer’s dime.

Since the general rule is that the loser pays the winner’s attorneys fees, and government is “paying,” we can assume we are winning – can’t we?

Congress passed several pieces of legislation designed to make it easier for small businesses to challenge the government. One was the EAJA, which ordered federal agencies to pay the legal costs of firms that successfully challenged their rulings.

But that’s NOT the story. This is the story:

Before long, some of the country’s most powerful environmental law firms were availing themselves of the EAJA to force the government to bend to their political agenda and pay their legal fees — sometimes as much as $750 an hour — in the process. The result was a gross perversion of the political process, paid for by the unknowing American public…

The incestuous relationship between the government and environmental groups extends beyond litigation.

In addition to subsidizing their lawsuits, the government is also a leading sponsor of these groups, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

As David Horowitz and I report in our new book, The New Leviathan, between 2008 and 2010, 247 left-wing environmental groups received almost $569 million in federal grants. During the same period, conservative and free market-friendly environmental groups also received government grants, but a comparatively piddling $728,000…

Similarly, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), another major environmental group, has sued the EPA numerous times over the past decade. But that hasn’t interrupted the group’s cash flow: the government has given the EDF $2.76 million in grants during that period.

In a case which the EPA lost against the US Navy, EPA attorneys went back to court to ask for (and received) a higher rate of compensation for the work they did, and more for outside expert attorneys.

In other words, the NRDC contended that the government was not paying its lawyers enough to file suit against it. The NRDC was eventually awarded most of the reimbursement it sought.

Operative: “…not paying its lawyers enough to file suit against it.” !!!

It takes no imagination to understand what these millions, maybe billions are used to do to against the case for smaller government, lower taxes and a better economy:

Instead, the money has been spent enriching what is anything but an endangered species in America: trial lawyers.

Is there any single, honorable thing our Government is engaged in at this time? Is there anything our Government does not mismanage, either ineptly and/or purposefully/criminally at this time? Page 1 of the article is linked above. Page 2 is here.

Linked at The Lonely Conservative – thanks Karen!