California, New Mexico Sue Trump for Axing Methane-Waste Rules

(Bloomberg) -- California and New Mexico are suing the Trump administration to block it from rolling back Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing waste from natural gas exploration on public lands.

The suit comes just hours after the Bureau of Land Management repealed key sections of the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule, which assesses royalties on operators that allow natural gas and its waste to escape into the atmosphere. The regulation would have eliminated the equivalent of 3 million passenger vehicles worth of emissions in one year, according to a statement issued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

“With this attempt to axe the Waste Prevention Rule, the Trump administration risks the air our children breathe and at taxpayers’ expense,” Becerra said in the statement. “We’ve sued the administration before over the illegal delay and suspension of this rule and will continue doing everything in our power to hold them accountable for the sake of our people and planet.”

The states allege that efforts to dismantle the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule by the U.S Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management violated the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to “provide any reasoned basis for its action,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday in a San Francisco federal court. They seek to prevent the Trump administration from enforcing its Waste Rule Repeal and to reinstate the 2016 policy.

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