Clallam Co., WA: Local activist raises questions to Congressman about EPA violations
Taken from US Senate Report “Clouded Waters”
These new rules are not the outcome of LEGISLATION or rigorous scientific findings, but the direct result of a number of LAWSUITS BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS.
May 25, 2013 | 9:00 pm Examiner Editorial The Washington Examiner
Officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency colluded on 71 cases since 2009 with private sector non-profit activists to use federal courts to circumvent democratic accountability statutes)
Regulating behind closed doors, the cozy relationship between the Feds and environmental groups
Imagine the outcry if the nation woke up this morning to New York Times and Washington Post headlines reporting that in order to settle a lawsuit against Charles and David Koch, officials with the Environmental Protection Agency had met behind closed doors with them to iron out a deal that effectively allowed the brothers to rewrite regulations as they pleased. Imagine, also, that the EPA and the Kochs then got a federal court to issue a decree ratifying the deal and giving it the force of law? The sun would not likely set on a peaceful America until the EPA/Koch deal was utterly repudiated and those in government responsible for it frog-marched to jail after being charged with multiple violations of the Administrative Procedures Act.
(The Washington Examiner)
All of these deals are unintended consequences of the “SUE AND SETTLE” process included in major environmental laws adopted since 1970. Here’s how the process works: First, the private environmental group sues the EPA in federal court seeking to force it to issue new regulations by a date certain. Then agency and group officials meet behind closed doors to hammer out a deal. Typically in the deal, the government agrees to do whatever the activists want. The last step occurs when THE JUDGE issues a consent decree that makes the deal the law of the land. No messy congressional hearings. No public comment period. No opportunity for anybody outside the privileged few to know how government regulatory policy is being shaped until it’s too late.
There are multiple reasons to repeal sue and settle but the two most important are its inherently anti-democratic character and the mockery it makes of transparency and accountability in government. CONGRESS PASSED THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT IN 1946 TO ENSURE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE RULE-MAKING PROCESS. In the decades since, there have been countless occasions in which PUBLIC COMMENTS FORCED AGENCIES TO MODIFY OR WITHDRAW DEEPLY FLAWED REGULATORY PROPOSALS.
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