Are some environmental groups bringing lawsuits to protect the environment, or to make money for their organizational coffers? Well according to new research by Bruce Benson of the group PERC, there is evidence to support the latter: “An indication that self-interest propels these groups comes from comparing citizen suits filed under two different laws. In recent years, over 1,300 citizen suits were filed under the Clean Water Act but only 143 under the Clean Air Act. Do environmental groups think that water violations are more serious than air pollution? Probably not. They do know, however, that the Clean Water Act mandates record-keeping that makes suing under it easy and allows large fines that make settlements lucrative; the Clean Air Act does not.”

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