Court Strikes Down Trump Administration’s Rollback Of Methane Rule

Screengrab / PBS NewsHour / YouTube

Artivia Tahir

A federal judge has struck down the Trump administration's rollback of a rule that restricts the release of methane.

The Trump administration’s weakening of a rule that restricts methane gas release was struck down by a federal court on Wednesday, returning to an Obama-era rule, according to The Hill.

  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolled back portions of a rule that restricted the release of methane in 2018.
  • However, on Wednesday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers struck down that rollback, saying:

“In its haste, BLM ignored its statutory mandate under the Mineral Leasing Act, repeatedly failed to justify numerous reversals in policy positions previously taken, and failed to consider scientific findings and institutions relied upon by both prior Republican and Democratic administrations. In its zeal, BLM simply engineered a process to ensure a preordained conclusion. Where a court has found such widespread violations, the court must fulfill its duties in striking the defectively promulgated rule.”

  • Earthjustice attorney Robin Cooley spoke about the move:

“The judge basically rejected every attempt by the Trump administration to gut these common-sense waste prevention measures on behalf of their oil & gas industry cronies. The judge said the administration cannot ignore the impacts on health and well-being of the people who live near oil and gas facilities.”

  • The Hill noted that “Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that can be 25 times more impactful than carbon dioxide in equal quantities” and in 2018 “accounted for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.”

Read the full report.

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