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CEI Comments on Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (H.R.469)

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From William Yeatman, Senior Fellow, on HR 469, The Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act:

“H.R. 469 is a welcome bill that should enjoy the support of all Members.

By affording States a presumptive right of intervention in “sue and settle” cases, H.R. 469 would put an end to the Obama-era practice of EPA litigating in order to prevent States from having a seat at the negotiating table, which was a gross affront to the principles of cooperative federalism that underlie virtually all of EPA’s enabling statutes.

Even better, the bill would limit the ability of environmental groups to dictate agency priorities through “sue and settle.” Under existing rules, federal courts are hamstrung in their latitude to approve modifications of judicial settlements and, as a result, the agency frequently is robbed of its discretion to set its own priorities in the face of thousands of statutory responsibilities. H.R. 469 would allow courts to better consider an agency’s need to manage its limited resources when the government requests a modification to an existing consent decree.

Indeed, it’s unclear why anyone would oppose this bill. Who would argue against affording a State a voice in negotiations that affect that State? And who would argue against having government—rather than special interests—dictate the government’s priorities? H.R. 469 is merely common sense.”