ICYMI: InsideEPA "Environmentalists Fight 'Sue-and-Settle' Bill Ahead of Looming Floor Vote"
November 15, 2013
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has been scrutinizing the Obama Administration's problems with transparency, specifically focusing on secret "sue-and-settle" deals that Administration officials will make with far-left environmental groups to enact unnecessary and burdensome regulations without any input from those who will be affected, including States, local governments, and private citizens. Click here to read more.
Environmentalists are pushing back against a looming House floor vote on a bill to fix what GOP critics say is a "sue-and-settle" strategy in which advocates sue EPA, then reach settlements to force tight deadlines for new rules, and advocates say the existing settlement process benefits industry far more than environmentalists.
Industry and Republicans counter that environmentalists' claims are designed to cover up the fact their suits against the agency often lead to closed-doors deals with EPA on rule deadlines that the bill will prevent.
A Vitter spokesman says, "There are so many examples of sue-and-settle practices with groups and the EPA," including the GHG NSPS for utilities and refineries, and a rule requiring states to take steps to limit regional haze. "If it's not a problem, then why did EPA push back so hard during the [Administrator Gina] McCarthy nomination process?"
In a deal reached during McCarthy's confirmation, EPA agreed to publish NOIs to file suit along with petitions for rulemakings it receives, to help opponents keep track of environmentalists' efforts. EPA's website shows eight rulemaking petitions filed so far this year and 47 NOIs, most dealing with lapsed statutory deadlines.