Green Groups Taking YOUR Tax Dollars Through Federal Lawsuits
Wonder where your tax dollars are going? The next time you hear about an enviornmental group suing the Federal Government over some trivial (or sometimes non-existant 'issue), they're probably taking money right out of your pocket.
Abusing a little-known law signed by President Carter in 1980, enviornmental groups are suing the Feds, often winning, and the payouts are coming from taxpayer money. Under the Equal Acess To Justice Act, or EAJA, was designed to help small businesses or groups or individuals who can prove the government has wronged them, to recoup their legal fees from the Feds.
But the bill also covers 501(c)(3) non-profit groups, and most enviornmental groups are registered as such. These high powered groups who often receive huge donations from wealthy liberals and other sources, are being reimbursed by the Federal Government often at rates as high as $750 an hour for legal services. And the 'best' part? The Federal Government cannot account for many of the payments made for these legal fees.
Over a ten year period, legal services payouts to enviornmental groups have exceeded 44 million dollars, from 2001-2011. But that 44 million comes from only ten of 75 different Federal agencies that have doled out money during that time. Investigators say that 44 million is only the tip of the iceberg. While enviornmental groups defend their lawsuits, saying they are 'protecting' the public interest, many of the lawsuits have been nuisance in their nature; designed to stall development, energy exploration and growth. These lawsuits have caused numerous business and employment opportunities to be stalled, or even cancelled, resulting in thousands of lost jobs.
Enviornmentalists say no one is getting rich through these lawsuits, but at up to $750 and hour for legal fees, somebody is definitely doing well, at the expense of taxpayers.