Court rules that Trump’s Interior Department broke the law
October 4, 2017
• Says government must obey its own methane emission laws
• “California has shut down the Trump Administration’s attempts to illegally roll back important environmental protections”
The Trump Administration’s Department of the Interior illegally delayed the federal “Waste Prevention Rule,” which governs the waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and gas production on federal and Indian lands, a U.S. District Court has ruled.
Finalized in November 2016, the Waste Prevention Rule went into effect on January 17, 2017, but was postponed nearly five months later by DOI without notice and comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act.
“For the third time since late August, California has shut down the Trump Administration’s attempts to illegally roll back important environmental protections,” says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Today, in response to a lawsuit we filed in July along with the state of New Mexico, a U.S. District Court ruled that the Administration acted unlawfully by postponing the Waste Prevention Rule and must now immediately implement the Rule.
He says the rule means that oil and gas operators on federal and Indian lands will be compelled to prevent the waste of natural gas. Natural gas emissions threaten the health of nearby residents and contribute to climate change.