Energy

Businesses Are Fighting Back Against Environmentalists Using Courts To Club Industry

An industry trade group is offering perspective and dispelling myths used by environmentalists to launch lawsuits against businesses, the Washington Examiner reports.

The National Association of Manufactures (NAM) quietly announced its initiative, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project, last month. The project is the first of its kind attempted by any industry trade group.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the tactics that are behind these lawsuits and some of the groups that are funding them and how different interest groups are teaming up with state officials, because these lawsuits are being brought by states and by cities and counties, and show this isn’t an organic effort of different states and cities to try to recover damages,” NAM senior vice president and general counsel Linda Kelly told the Washington Examiner.

NAM’s project is compiling information on activists, public officials and trial lawyers, then revealing the connections and “highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign” being waged against certain businesses in the name of environmentalism.

“Left unchecked, this coordinated campaign jeopardizes the ability of all manufacturers to continue growing and providing jobs to millions of Americans,” the project’s website says. “Misguided and politically-motivated legal attacks serve only to undermine the nation’s legal system, our manufacturing base, and our economy, leading us down a slippery slope in which no successful sector of our economy is safe from attack.”

Environmentalists’ campaigns have attracted the attention of more than just industry. Groups bringing lawsuits to hold up state and federal permitting, such as for the building pipelines or logging, have been criticized by members of Congress.

Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah called those environmental groups “well-funded litigation machines” that tried to prevent a review of national monument designations by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Environmental groups currently suing the Trump administration for reducing two monument designations said the monument review was a sellout to industry interests.

“If the Trump administration thinks Grand Staircase-Escalante can be sold out without a fight, they’re in for a huge surprise,” Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark said in a statement. “We’ll be seeing them in court.”

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