A Taxpayer-Funded War Against Ranchers (PJM Exclusive)
There is a war going on in the West. It has nothing to do with guns and bullets. It's an environmental war, declared by eco-activists against farmers and ranchers who work the land.
It's not covered by the mainstream media. But environmental groups boast that their aim is to run ranchers off their land, put them out of business, and bar beef and other food from our tables. And the environmentalists get taxpayers to pay them for their attempts at destruction.
The tools they use are the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other acts, along with a small army of lawyers who find bureaucratic loopholes to bankrupt farmers and ranchers.
While ranchers struggle to pay attorneys to represent their interests in these lawsuits, environmental groups are getting paid by taxpayers. Even though the activists don't win all of these cases, they are reimbursed for their attorneys' fees through the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The abuse of EAJA, where environmental groups collect up to $650 per hour for frivolous lawsuits, was covered recently by Pajamas Media.
"Essentially, these environmental groups are being paid to sue the federal government," said Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen. "They file hundreds of lawsuits, and rather than fight the suits, the government often settles the case, agreeing to pay attorneys fees in the settlement."
Here are some of their cases.