The Interior Department will create a website that makes public attorneys’ fees paid out in legal settlements, often with environmentalists.
Environmental activists have raked in tens of millions of dollars suing under laws, like the Endangered Species Act, which require taxpayers to foot the bill for litigation costs.
A 2016 DCNF investigation found taxpayers paid out nearly $50 million in attorneys’ fees to groups suing under three major environmental laws during the Obama administration.
The Interior Department will publicly list attorneys’ fees paid out, often to environmental activist groups, for legal settlements, according to a recent memo from Principal Deputy Solicitor Daniel Jorjani.
Jorjani’s memo states the Interior Department will develop a webpage within 30 days to publicly list details of legal settlements and cases, which the agency says is a big step in bringing sunshine to a non-transparent practice that the public is largely unaware is happening.