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Ed Driscoll

Of Friendly Lawsuits and Potemkin Protests

March 18th, 2014 - 10:43 am


In his enjoyably readable recent Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism, James Delingpole of Ricochet and London Telegraph explores the left’s tactic of “Friendly Lawsuits.” These are built around the concept of Bad Cop, Worse Cop; with the EPA pretending to be the marginally less loathsome guys, who pretend to be “forced” into action via lawsuits from Greenpeace or another radical environmentalist group. As Delingpole writes, both groups are “often staffed by exactly the same kind of people, with exactly the same violently anti-capitalist aims. The only difference is that the state employees have to be a bit more discreet about it”:

Here’s how one of their favorite scams works: the “friendly lawsuit.” Suppose, for example, some bright spark at the EPA has dreamed up yet another brilliant enviro-fascistic scheme to destroy industry. A new regulation, maybe, to force coal-fired plants to install haze-reducing, pollution-control equipment at a cost of $ 1.5 billion. Well, of course, there might be a few complaints from the evil coal industry.

In order to bypass potential legal resistance, the EPA puts on its innocent face and deploys the time-honored playground excuse: “bad boys made me do it.” It does this by quietly asking its friends at the Environmental Defense Fund to file a lawsuit against the EPA, demanding that the EPA introduce the very same legislation that the EPA wanted anyway.

When the coal industry complains that jobs are being killed, prices inflated, and margins reduced by new regulations which nobody save a few hard-left activists wanted or needed, the EPA replies that it had no choice: it acted in order to settle a lawsuit by environmental groups.

In any other criminal business—such as arranging deliberate motor crashes in order to make false claims for whiplash injuries—this would qualify as fraud and a conviction would result in jail sentences. Apparently, though, where the environment industry is concerned, such moral and legal niceties need not apply.

Which sounds very much like the concept of the Potemkin Protest that PJM’s own mysterious Zombie described last year, as we’ll explore right after the page break, followed by a recent, real-world example of a “friendly lawsuit” in action.

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All Comments   (5)
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The bureaucratic rot here is even worse than described, and goes beyond merely encouraging the suit-settlement process. The government almost invariably agrees to pay the legal fees of the group that filed the suit, and does so at generous hourly rates. Further, too many of the lawsuits are "cookie-cutter" filings, where the only work the attorneys had to do was change a few key words. But they get paid as though they started from nothing, in essence getting paid over and over again for the same work they did when they first filed the original version of that particular type of suit. It's one of the great enviro-frauds that has taxpayers funding activist environmental groups.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If people cannot afford the gas or fuel oil for heat. If they cannot afford the electricity for lighting and to run their computer, the might revolt.

Maybe ANONYMOUS could hack the computer email server and i-phones of these activists and record their their conspiracy à la James O'Keefe.

But I doubt ANONYMOUS has balls that bag or that much sense.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
At the heart of the procedural problem is the notion that the courts can make law in this fashion (i.e., by incorporating a settlement agreement into standing law). When -- and on what rationale -- did that obscenity get started?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
In 1972, the EPA banned the use of and worldwide funding for DDT based on the junk science in a book by environazi Rachel Carson entitled Silent Spring. The supposedly Republican EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus effectively banned DDT despite mountains of exhaustive evidence in favor of it's use to eliminate malaria all over the world as had been done in America.

When Charles Wurster, lead scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund was told the banning of DDT would likely result in millions of deaths, he replied, "This is as good a way to get rid of them as any."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
In response to the implications of millions dying of malaria from a global ban on DDT, Charles WURSTA, of the Environmental Defense Fund said, "This is as good a way to get rid of them as any."
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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