Federal Judge Blocks Trump Admin’s Easing Of Rule On Methane Emissions

“WASHINGTON – A federal judge in California late on Wednesday blocked a rollback by the Trump administration of a rule on slashing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Rogers of the Northern District of California said in her ruling that the administration’s easing of the Waste Prevention Rule was contrary to the Interior Department’s mandate to ensure safe and responsible drilling on public lands, and failed to consider scientific findings relied upon by previous presidential administrations.

The Obama-era rule was meant to curb emissions from flaring and venting of natural gas and to reduce leaks. The Obama administration said the rule would fight climate change and wasted fuel costs. “

Timothy Gardner reports for Reuters July 16, 2020.