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a threat to Louisiana’s economy PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Dear Friend,



All too often we hear about radical environmentalist groups attacking Louisiana’s energy industry and threatening our jobs and economy. That’s why last year I requested a full audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find out just how much taxpayer money was being spent to fund lawsuits by these radical environmentalist groups who sue the federal government.


Turns out it’s a lot – tens of millions. GAO finally completed the report I requested and it shows that taxpayers have been on the hook for years while ‘Big Green’ trial lawyers have raked in millions of dollars suing the government.


Even worse, because of sloppy record keeping by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a lack of cooperation by the U.S. Justice Department, we're not even sure how bad the problem really is. This is unacceptable and I'm going to continue working to demand greater transparency.


One particularly absurd example is the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group actively litigating against oil and gas exploration. This is the group who’s currently trying to shut down the entire Gulf of Mexico from offshore drilling. In 2008, the NRDC received $3.5 million from taxpayers, even as it pursued litigation that would imperil the jobs of tens of thousands of energy industry employees in Louisiana alone.

Additionally, between 2003 and 2010, the Treasury Department paid out approximately $14.2 million from its “Judgment Fund” to environmental plaintiffs who had filed suit against EPA.

Allowing hard earned tax dollars to be carelessly paid out to these environmentalist groups is a threat to our ever increasing deficit, and it’s a threat to Louisiana’s economy. This report is a good start to helping expose this.




David Vitter
United States Senator