I hadn't heard of this one before, and it's pretty outrageous

Under this process, environmental groups and a federal agency agree to enter into a lawsuit that alleges that the agency has failed to meet a regulatory deadline or requirement. The two parties then settle with a preconceived consent decree that circumvents the traditional rule-making process and “forces” the agency to quickly implement mutually agreed-upon rules.
In a recently released report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that EPA chose not to defend itself in lawsuits brought by special interest advocacy groups at least 60 times between 2009 and 2012. As the Chamber notes, “these settlements directly resulted in EPA agreeing to publish more than 100 new regulations, many of which impose compliance costs in the tens of millions and even billions of dollars.”

Not surprisingly, in each case, EPA settled on terms dictated by environmentalists — 34 times with the Sierra Club alone — without input or review from Congress, stakeholders or even the Office of Management and Budget. In fact, EPA does not disclose that it is even being sued until the two parties have already struck a deal and that agreement is filed in court.
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Worse yet for taxpayers, the environmental groups’ lawyers are paid directly out of federal coffers.

EPA is not alone in utilizing the sue-and-settle practice. According to the Chamber’s report, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce have also pursued settlements rather than fight frivolous lawsuits brought be activist groups.

Fifty-four industry groups, representing a large cross section of America’s job creators, recently shed some much-needed light on sue and settle. Now, it’s time for Congress to carry on the torch and end this practice of allowing environmental groups to write far-reaching agency rules. The American people deserve better than more broken promises.