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EPA under investigation for collaborating with radical environmental groups

March 10, 2013

The EPA is under investigation for using the “sue and settle” process to circumvent Congress and push through environmental regulations with the assistance of government employees and administrators who share the same ideals.

You’ve read about it many times in the Prospecting and Mining Journal. Environmental groups will sue the federal government in an effort to create or change a policy, create additional restrictions on land or water use, get a species listed as endangered, etc. The government then negotiates a settlement with the environmental groups before the case reaches court, and the government agrees to reimburse the groups for attorney fees and other associated costs related to the case. Radical environmental groups have discovered they can fund their efforts with taxpayer money -- without taxpayer involvement -- utilizing this method.

This process allows the radical environmentalists to circumvent Congress and the will of the people as they force their ideology on the rest of Americans.

The “sue and settle” process has also been used frequently on the state level. Back in 2006, miners learned that the Karuk Tribe of Northern California had filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish & Game in Alameda County Superior Court earlier in the year. Fish & Game was on the verge of signing an agreement with the Karuk Tribe, which would have severely restricted placer mining in the northern part of the state, when the miners intervened.

“Sue and settle” is not limited to the EPA. It is a tool often used by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to get the desired results while circumventing Congress. A simple Internet search for “Forest Service settlement agreement” or “Bureau of Land Management settlement agreement” will reveal dozens of negotiated settlements with environmental groups.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-California) and Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) have been conducting an investigation into the EPA's use of email aliases and personal email accounts to hide correspondence between EPA employees, administrators and environmental groups. Issa sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, while Vitter sits on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Former EPA Director Lisa Jackson resigned in December after it was discovered she had been using an email alias of "Richard Windsor" to conduct official business. Emails sent and received under her alias were not included in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. EPA Region 8 Administrator James Martin resigned shortly after Issa and Vitter announced on January 29, 2013, a joint investigation into Martin's email practices.

Please take a moment to thank Congressman Issa and Senator Vitter and encourage them to expand their investigation to include the Forest Service, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife and Department of Interior.

Contact Information:

The Honorable Darrell Issa
United States House of Representatives
2347 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0549
Ph: (202) 225-3906     Fax: (202) 225-3303
link to email contact form

The Honorable David Vitter
United States Senate
516 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1804
Ph: (202) 224-4623     Fax: (202) 228-5061
link to email contact form

Following is a video summary of the problem put together by Americans for Prosperity:

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