Government Funding Appeals For Bigger Government

Our rulers are pretty good at finding tricky ways to expand their power

...several environmental groups that have received millions in EPA grants regularly file suit against that same agency. A dozen green groups were responsible for more than 3,000 suits against the EPA and other government agencies over the past decade, according to a study by the Wyoming-based Budd-Falen Law Offices.

The EPA even tacitly encourages such suits, going so far as to pay for and promote a "Citizen's Guide" that, among other things, explains how to sue the agency under "citizen suit" provisions in environmental laws. The guide's author — the Environmental Law Institute — has received $9.9 million in EPA grants over the past decade.

And, to top it off, critics say the EPA often ends up paying the groups' legal fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

"The EPA isn't harmed by these suits," said Jeffrey Holmstead, who was an EPA official during the Bush administration. "Often the suits involve things the EPA wants to do anyway. By inviting a lawsuit and then signing a consent decree, the agency gets legal cover from political heat."



  1. bradley13:

    There is one state - I think it is North Carolina - where the government is constitutionally forbidden to give money to non-profit and not-for-profit groups. The philosophy behind this seems to have been that the government is there to provide particular services, which it either does itself, or hires done by companies. There is no place in the idea of government services for handouts to non-profits.

    Seems like a good idea to me. Really, if I want to support a non-profit or a charity, I can do it all by myself. The government has no business taking my money and handing it out without my consent.

  2. MikeinAppalachia:

    We really need to start stockpiling rope.

  3. ADiff:

    So opponents of EPA policy should use the same tools....

  4. JIMC5499:

    Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! EPA has gotta go!

  5. gadfly:

    For an evening of unbelievable reading on the con game that is the environmental movement's abuse of our laws and their obvious conspiracy with the EPA, check out the Budd-Falen Law Office and the Western Legacy Alliance sites.

    Also, let your congressperson know that you want to see the passage of the GOVERNMENTAL LITIGATION SAVINGS ACT OF 2011 which will shut down the environmental litigation gravy train.

  6. Sean:

    There is a lot of insidious ways that NGO's fund themselves. Many college campuses started contributing to Ralph Nader's public interest research groups through mandatory student fees. This article from Maryland's flagship university shows that the funding continues to this day. I wonder how many parents know that part of the money they got from the second mortgage to pay for college was going to political advocacy organization. I also wonder how extensive and pervasive these parasitic funding mechanisms for NGO's actually are?

  7. Dr. T:

    When I worked at a VA hospital, I learned that human resource staff members were encouraging black workers to file EEOC complaints. Such complaints added workload to HR and guaranteed their jobs. Thus, I am not surprised to learn that the federal government funds private groups who routinely sue the federal government. The more lawsuits, the more workers the EPA needs to hire. Plus, when the EPA loses the lawsuit, it usually is due to lack of enforcement. The EPA now has a court order for more enforcement, which means more workers, bigger budget, etc. Everyone wins! (Well, except for those annoying taxpayers who bitch about wasted money, and the greedy businesses that are so heavily regulated that they cannot make profits.)

  8. el coronado:

    and this is different from "skynet is becoming self-aware" how, exactly?