Attorneys general in 12 states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding it release documents showing the agency cooperates with environmental groups as part of a "sue-and-settle" arrangement to implement regulations.
Led by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, claims that consent decrees between the EPA and environmental groups have led to new rules for states without allowing their attorneys general to defend the interests of their businesses and consumers, reports Fox News.
Pruitt said that as many as 40 lawsuits have been filed against the EPA by groups such as Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, WildEarth Guardians, and the Sierra Cluband have led to consent decrees.
The settlements are "sometimes on the same day the lawsuit is filed" and include terms and conditions that exceed statutory guidelines approved by Congress, Pruitt said.
"This appears to be a blatant strategy by the EPA to go around the process and bend the rules to create environmental regulations that have failed in Congress," Pruitt said in a statement
Pruitt continued, "As part of our investigation into the pervasiveness of this tactic, we requested documents that the EPA has refused to produce. If the EPA is making backdoor deals with environmental groups to push their agenda on the American people while bypassing the states and Congress, we need to know."
Other parties to the suit are attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
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