Energy & Environment

Court tells EPA to enforce Obama methane pollution rule

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A federal court told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday that it has to enforce an Obama administration methane pollution rule.

The order from Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit came after the judges gave the agency a two-week reprieve from its ruling earlier in July that the EPA broke the law when it tried to delay enforcement earlier.

Despite the reprieve, the Trump administration has not asked for the entire 11-judge court to rehear its case, the standard next step for appealing a ruling for a three-judge panel.

But industry groups and conservative states opposed to the regulation did ask for the full-court repeal, so the judges will consider their request in the coming weeks.

The rule sets standards for the oil and natural gas drilling industry that aim to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas.

It was a major part of former President Barack Obama’s second-term climate change agenda.

The D.C. Circuit Court ruled in early July that the Trump administration overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it tried to unilaterally delay the rule while it works to repeal it.

The EPA is also working through the regulatory process to delay the regulation for an additional two years. It is gathering public comment until Aug. 9 and could make the delay final after that.

Tags Barack Obama Environmental Protection Agency Methane Natural gas oil
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