The incestuous relationship between the government and environmental groups extends beyond litigation. In addition to subsidizing their lawsuits, the government is also a leading sponsor of these groups, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. As David Horowitz and I report in our new book, The New Leviathan, between 2008 and 2010, 247 left-wing environmental groups received almost $569 million in federal grants. During the same period, conservative and free market-friendly environmental groups also received government grants, but a comparatively piddling $728,000.
While some of this funding has come during the Obama presidency, the federal government serves as a cash cow for the environmental movement regardless of the White House occupant. For instance, the NRDC’s relentless attacks on the Bush administration’s environmental record did not stop it from receiving $2.6 million from the EPA during the first three years of the Bush presidency. Similarly, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), another major environmental group, has sued the EPA numerous times over the past decade. But that hasn’t interrupted the group’s cash flow: the government has given the EDF $2.76 million in grants during that period.
The truly sad part about this legal boondoggle is that the millions in government funds frittered away on environmental litigation could have been put toward meaningful environmental protection efforts. Instead, the money has been spent enriching what is anything but an endangered species in America: trial lawyers.
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