Several people told me Don Wilson responded to my accusatory letter of Dec. 2. It took me some time to track down his reply (Dec. 17, The News-Review) and survive the Holidays. Here is my response to Mr. Wilson’s reply.

I asked for proof of his scurrilous suggestion that the government paid environmentalists to sue. Unsubstantiated 10-year-old assertions from Fox news is pretty weak proof. One thing to keep in mind is that environmentalists range from big well-funded national and international organizations to small local outfits that rely on donations and volunteers. When environmental lawyers win cases against the government and industry and win, the losers frequently do have to pay legal fees and damages but I know of no initial payments to start the suit as Mr. Wilson implies.

I know for certain no government money has ever come to local groups. An example is that after almost 20 years of hard work and numerous bogus hearings to stop the gas pipeline, the company representatives were all well paid and the agency people all had jobs but the citizens in the cross hairs funded the opposition out of our pockets.

Lawsuits deliver winners and losers but what we need are political compromises where everyone wins enough to move forward. The extremes define the issues but agreements are made in the center. Don Wilson’s monthly diatribes against “environmentalists” poisons the political discussions and makes it harder for communities and leaders to work toward that center.

As we see a changing climate come to the forefront of national political issues, Douglas County needs more than ever to present a reasonable, balanced and unified front to state and national leaders. The recent catastrophic wildfires show that everyone cares about this place where we live. We are all environmentalists.

Richard Chasm

Dillard

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(3) comments

Huge bbfan

Yeah, okay 👍. I believe this! Bwahahahaha.

smedleyb

Slow day in 3rd grade Huge bbfan!

mworden

Mr. Wilson said he was an agitator, but not a liar. He seems to really believe Fox New's misinterpretation of a GAO report outlining the legal costs expended by the EPA as the government paying environmentalists to sue. I wrote the following post outlining what the GAO report really said. If Mr. Wilson again repeats the Fox lie, he will, indeed, be a liar himself.

"According to the GAO investigation report written in 2011, the EPA spent $43 million to DEFEND itself in court against lawsuits filed against it, mostly from environmental groups suing over the clean air and clean water act. This is allowed by law.

"During the same period of time the EPA paid $14.2 million to plaintiffs and their attorneys in cases the EPA either lost or settled out of court. This, too, is allowed by law.

"It's a common practice in civil litigation for the losing side to pay the winner's legal fees and court costs, according to how it is allowed by law.

"I can't figure out a rational way to interpret this in the same fashion as Fox News did. EPA spent $43 million DEFENDING itself in court. They're defended by the Justice Department."

https://www.gao.gov/assets/a322401.html

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