Dealing another legal blow to the Trump administration

Aw, there’s one of Obama’s environmental protections that Trump doesn’t get to ditch. One of those pesky lawyery judgey court type deals has said no he can’t.

Dealing another legal blow to the Trump administration, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot suspend an Obama-era rule to restrict methane emissions from new oil and gas wells.

The 2-to-1 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is the first major legal setback for Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, who is trying to roll back dozens of Obama-era environmental regulations. The ruling signals that President Trump’s plans to erase his predecessor’s environmental record are likely to face an uphill battle in the courts.

Environmental protections. Republicans call them “regulations” to make them sound like a pain in the ass and a violation of our precious freedom to breathe dirty air and watch our national parks turned into golf courses. We call them protections.

A number of other E.P.A. actions to undo regulations it inherited, including a rule on landfills and another on chemical spills, are likely to receive close scrutiny from the courts because of this ruling.

I hope the courts can take a very hard look at that move to get rid of the protection of streams.

The methane rule was part of a broad suite of climate regulations enacted by former President Barack Obama. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Oil and gas companies have argued that the rule requiring them to report and fix any methane leaks in their equipment is an unnecessary burden because many oil-producing states already have their own regulations. The E.P.A. announced on June 5 that it was suspending enforcement of the rule, arguing that the industry had not had enough opportunity to comment. The court rejected that argument.

Aw just let the oil and gas companies leak all over the place, willya? How will we drive our SUVs to the mall if the fossil fuel people can’t make a big mess any more?

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