Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and the attorney generals of 11 other states have filed a lawsuit seeking documents involving the Environmental Protection Agency's legal strategy with environmental groups.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City comes after the states filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking documents related to a strategy referred to as "sue and settle." The agency allegedly employs the tactic as a way to settle lawsuits with environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club, without allowing state involvement.
"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," Scott Pruitt said. "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."
In some instances, the EPA entered a consent decree the same day a lawsuit was filed by the special interest group.