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“It’s another insidious angle to this,” says William Yeatman, the assistant director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and the Environment. “In essence, the taxpayer is subsidizing secret policy negotiations between the EPA and special interests.”
Those are just the cases that are on record. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to announce all related settlement agreements. But myriad other environmental statutes require no notice whatsoever to be given to industry, state governments, or the public. And when industries or state governments affected by settlements attempt to get a hearing in court, they’re often excluded, says CEI’s Yeatman.