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Appeals Court Deals Second Setback to Trump Administration on Methane Regulation
On July 31, nine of the 11 judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit followed-up on a July 3 ruling by a 3-judge panel of the same court and ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift its stay of an Obama-era rule requiring oil and gas companies to limit methane and smog-forming pollutants from their drilling operations.
"The D.C. federal court's ruling was a victory for environmentalists and suggests rolling back environmental regulations wholesale will be difficult for the Trump administration," reports Rene Marsh for CNN Politics.
"Today's issuance of the mandate by the full D.C. Circuit protects families and communities across America under clean air safeguards that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sought to unlawfully tear down," said Peter Zalzal, lead attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the groups that challenged the EPA. [See EDF article on the ruling].
However, the one-page order [pdf] in support of the six petitioners, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Integrity Project, Earthworks, Clean Air Council, and the Sierra Club, does not end the matter of enforcement of the first federal rule to limit methane emissions, an integral part of President Obama's climate initiative. While the en banc ruling lifts EPA stay on the methane rule, the issue is not fully resolved, explains the August 1 Sierra Club press release.
[T]he court will consider industry's petition for rehearing [while] EPA is taking another shot at relieving industry of its obligations by preparing to issue a separate two-year stay of the same rule.
The 'other' methane rule setback for Trump Administration
On May 10, the Trump administration was dealt a surprising setback on a rollback of a related Obama-era Department of Interior rule to reduce methane emissions & wasted gas on public, tribal lands, not by the courts but by the U.S. Senate, when it voted 49-51 to kill a Congressional Review Act bill, H.J.Res.36. However, according to Wikipedia, the 115th Congress has successfully used the Clinton-era law 16 times to rollback Obama-era regulations.
- United States
- Government / Politics
- 115th Congress
- En Banc
- Environmental Litigation
- Federal Appeals Court
- Methane Emissions
- Methane Regulations
- Oil and Gas Drilling
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Regulation Rollback
- Trump Administration
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Sierra Club
- United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Rene Marsh
- Scott Pruitt
- Peter Zalzal