The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency has allocated significantly more taxpayer-funded payouts to liberal climate activists and related groups than in President Donald Trump’s entire four-year term. The EPA, led by Administrator Michael Regan, has funneled over double the amount of funds to these groups, raising concerns among conservatives about the agency’s alignment with partisan interests.
Under the leadership of Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the “sue and settle” approach, where groups challenge the government on aligned issues and agencies subsequently settle disputes, was targeted. Pruitt aimed to end this practice, which often led to government agencies pushing through regulations that couldn’t be passed in Congress. However, Biden’s EPA revoked this memo and has spent more than $6.9 million on attorney fees for settlements with environmental groups under various Acts.
This revelation, brought to light through the Freedom of Information Act by Open the Books, a federal spending watchdog, highlights the increasing influence of liberal climate advocacy groups under the Biden administration. These groups seem to have gained a prominent position with the government’s support, a concern for conservatives who view this as a tilt towards partisan interests.
Critics from the conservative perspective argue that the Biden administration’s green energy policies, often detrimental to the fossil fuel industry, benefit China’s authoritarian regime while punishing the American energy sector. Additionally, congressional Republicans are alarmed by the EPA’s move to allow special interest groups to “sue and settle” with federal agencies without public and stakeholder input, pushing for more transparency and accountability.
Data revealed that during the years 2021 and 2022, the EPA paid over $3.6 million in attorney fees for settlements related to the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. This approach stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s approach, where taxpayers paid significantly less in attorney fees. The EPA’s actions are seen by conservatives as enabling liberal climate groups to sue the government to impede economic activities and then profit from the lawsuits, raising concerns about accountability and transparency.
Overall, this controversy highlights the Biden administration’s closer alignment with climate advocacy groups and its potential negative impact on economic growth and national interests. Conservatives argue that the EPA’s actions prioritize partisan concerns over objective environmental and economic policies.