In 2009, Karen Budd-Falen began researching how national environmental groups were taking advantage of fee shifting provisions contained within some of the most prominent federal environmental regulations. What she found was shocking!
At the most basic level, fee shifting provisions provide compensation for citizens who bring litigation against the federal government to enforce the federal laws. This concept provides for a “checks-and-balances” of the federal government by private citizens, and diminishes the worry of those citizens that they cannot afford to bring a lawsuit. While the premise of fee shifting statutes is admirable, some national environmental groups have severely taken advantage of the system – in some cases, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawsuits that enforce procedures, and don’t protect the environment.
Thus, Ms. Budd-Falen has brought to light this controversy, presenting her findings at various conferences and through various media outlets – including radio, newspaper, and webcasts – throughout the West.
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