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Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Endangered Species Act Litigation and Attorney Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2012 - According to data recently obtained from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in response to document requests, the federal government has defended more than 570 Endangered Species Act (ESA)-related lawsuits costing U.S. taxpayers more than $15 million in attorney fees – in just the past four years. This data provides further evidence that the ESA has become litigation driven, where money and resources are spent addressing endless, frivolous lawsuits instead of species recovery.

Environmental groups are filing the vast majority of litigation, with the Center for Biological Diversity and the WildEarth Guardians leading the charge.

These groups, and their lawyers, are making millions of taxpayer dollars in profit by suing the federal government. According to DOJ, some attorneys are reimbursed up to $500 an hour and two lawyers have each received over $2 million in attorney fees from ESA cases.


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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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