Washington Examiner, May 25, 2013
Imagine the outcry if the nation woke up this morning [with the media] reporting that in order to settle a lawsuit against Charles and David Koch,…the Environmental Protection Agency had met behind closed doors with them to iron out a deal that effectively allowed the brothers to rewrite regulations as they pleased. Imagine, also, that the EPA and the Kochs then got a federal court to issue a decree ratifying the deal and giving it the force of law?......So where were the outraged headlines for any of the 34 times since 2009 that the EPA did similar closed-door deals, but with the Sierra Club rather than the Kochs?
Or the 20 times the agency accepted closed-door deals with another environmental activist group, the WildEarth Guardians? Why no headlines for the nine deals EPA accepted with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the six with the Center for Biologial Diversity or the five with the Environmental Defense Fund? In fact, none of the 71 closed-door deals EPA has accepted since 2009 with private parties involved in environmental advocacy and activism got front-page headlines….. Congress passed the Administrative Procedures Act in 1946 to ensure public participation in the rule-making process. In the decades since, there have been countless occasions in which public comments forced agencies to modify or withdraw deeply flawed regulatory proposals. But Sue and Settle cuts the public entirely out of the rule-making process. That must be changed and necessary reforms will be the focus tomorrow in this space.
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