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Biden administration asks court to halt litigation on California emissions waiver, methane rollback

Biden administration asks court to halt litigation on California emissions waiver, methane rollback
© Greg Nash

The Biden administration is asking the courts to pause litigation over the Trump administration’s rescission of California’s ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards and rollback of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. 

The administration in separate court filings on Monday noted that the White House put the policies up for review by their respective agencies, meaning a pause is warranted. 

“Abeyance will further the Court’s interests in avoiding unnecessary adjudication, support the integrity of the administrative process, and ensure due respect for the prerogative of the executive branch to reconsider the policy decisions of a prior Administration,” the administration said in court. 

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In both cases, the administration asked the court to halt the proceedings until 30 days after its review is completed. 

Both of the rules were major climate rollbacks undertaken by the Trump administration. 

The California waiver rule, called the “One National Program Rule,” gave the federal government the sole authority to set emissions standards, undercutting the ability of California and 13 other states to make their cars more environmentally friendly. 

Meanwhile, the methane rule ended regulation of methane from the production, processing transmission and storage of oil and gas. It also removed regulations on emissions of gases called volatile organic compounds from oil and gas transmission and storage. 

On his first day in office, President Biden issued a sweeping executive order that directed federal agencies to review dozens of Trump administration rules that go against administration aims to “promote and protect our public health and the environment,” among others.