Energy & Environment

Calif. governor blasts methane rule change as most 'dangerous action' by Trump

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday said that the Trump administration's plan to roll back Obama-era methane rules was President Trump's most dangerous action since taking office, calling the move "insane."

"This is insane - it borders on criminality," Brown tweeted.

"It perhaps is the most obvious and dangerous and irresponsible action by Mr. Trump. And that's saying quite a lot, because he has a whole list of them."

His comments came just hours after the Trump administration announced that it would roll back a major Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule related to methane gas emissions.

The new regulations replace a rule instituted in 2016 under former President Obama that had aimed to eliminate methane leaks at well sites and other oil and gas facilities.

The EPA said that the rollback of Obama-era regulations for oil and natural gas drillers would reduce unnecessary and duplicative burdens. It also said that the rule change would give the industry $484 million over six years. 

The announcement represented the third time this year the EPA has changed the way air pollutants are regulated.

"These common-sense reforms will alleviate unnecessary and duplicative red tape and give the energy sector the regulatory certainty it needs to continue providing affordable and reliable energy to the American people," acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

Brown has taken a fiercely critical stance against the Trump administration's environmental policies. In August, the California governor called Trump's plan to roll back Obama-era regulations for coal power plants a "declaration of war against America and all of humanity."

"Truth and common sense will triumph over Trump's insanity," he added.

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