You have to hand it to the Sierra Club. It — and its well-funded legal arm, Earthjustice — certainly know how to make political hay.
On Tuesday, they will be at it again in Washington when taxpayer dollars will go to court to defend the Rural Utility Service, which has been sued by Earthjustice for, gasp, fulfilling its legal responsibility.
In the past, you see, the Rural Utility Service, which was created by the government to provide funding for rural electric cooperatives to build power plants, has loaned money to Sunflower Rural Electric Cooperative to build power plants.
According to Earthjustice’s own account, ” UNDER THE LAW GOVERNING THE PROGRAM and RUS’s agreements with Sunflower, RUS must also approve any expansion of Sunflower’s plants and any new loans that Sunflower seeks from non-government sources.”
So Earthjustice sued RUS for failing to consider the environmental consequences of that action, namely CO2 emissions that might come from future expansions.
Never mind that the last Sunflower coal-fired construction was three decades ago, long before the steady drumbeat on the evils of carbon dioxide had grabbed national attention. Or that Sunflower hasn’t sought RUS funding for its proposed Holcomb expansion.
According to the suit, RUS should not have honored its legal responsibility or prior agreement and should have shot down the agreements between Sunflower and its third-party lenders. So, off we go to court.
No matter who wins this one, taxpayers lose. We get to pay for the argument.