U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today applauded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision to make secret "sue-and-settle" practices more difficult. Sue-and-settle is frequently used by environmental groups in coordination with the Obama Administration. The ruling takes a step forward in bringing transparency to the settlement process that is currently leaving stakeholders out of negotiations.

"These private consent agreements have become far too common in the environmental activist community, and they often times have large scale, negative economic impacts for states and private businesses," Vitter said. "The 9th circuit ruling is certainly a good sign and will help in our efforts to make the government, especially the EPA, more transparent. Unfortunately, it shouldn't take court intervention for the Administration to understand that it's wrong to be cutting deals with far-left environmental groups without input from all impacted parties."

Following the nomination hearing for Gina McCarthy to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sen. Vitter and the Environment and Public Works Committee Republican Senators reiterated five transparency concerns they have with the Agency and the expected responses. One of their requests was that EPA make notices of intent to sue, petitions for rulemaking or new guidance tracked, listed, and publicly available on the Agency's website and is regularly updated. Click here to read more on "sue-and-settle."