Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

Court Rules Trump Admin Must Enforce Obama-Era Restriction on Oil & Gas Companies

by Countable | 8.3.17

What’s the story?

A federal court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce an Obama administration climate regulation known as "the methane rule." The regulation places pollution limits on the oil and gas industry, and requires that companies locate and fix methane leaks. Methane is among the most potent greenhouse gasses, and is therefore a major contributor to global climate change.

The context:

President Trump issued an executive order in late March mandating that the EPA review all energy regulations put in place during the Obama administration. The order directed the EPA to suspend, rescind or revise those rules.

In response, Trump's EPA head Scott Pruitt said in April that the agency would "reconsider" the methane rule. In June, Pruitt issued a notice advising that the EPA would block the rule's enforcement for two years, giving energy companies time to review the rule and the public time to comment.

Environmental groups responded with a lawsuit in federal court, and in July the D.C. Circuit Court ruled Pruitt’s agency “lacked authority” to halt the regulation. This week's decision goes even further: it requires the EPA to enforce the methane rule.


Why does it matter?

Methane contributes to global warming. Though the extremely potent gas can come from natural sources, the greatest industrial emissions come from the oil and gas industry. When the Obama administration issued its ruling, it said the rule would help slash methane emissions by 40-45 percent by 2025.

The recent ruling means that the EPA can still reconsider the Obama administration rule, but energy industry groups have to comply with it in the meantime. The lead attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund said the ruling "protects families and communities across America under clean air safeguards that EPA Administrator sought to unlawfully tear down." But a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute said that the momentary pause was “needed to allow for regulatory certainty as EPA continues the formal process to review the rule making."


What can you do?

Pruitt has said he wants to pause various rules and regulations so the public has time to comment—so comment. Does the EPA need to pause regulations until industries, and the public, can weigh on? Or should they be forced to comply with previous administrations’ rulings? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Josh Herman & Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Tim Evanson via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(405)
  • Carol
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Politics should be irrelevant. Profits should be secondary. Protect our water. Protect our air. Protect our planet.

    Like (405)
    Follow
    Share
  • Heather
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Is happy dance an action I can take? The EPA should protect the environment.

    Like (178)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jennifer
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Please fight for strong protections against methane and global warming, despite the current administration's misguided opinions on the subject! The whole world is literally in your hands.

    Like (145)
    Follow
    Share
  • Monica
    08/03/2017
    ···

    👍👍 well done checks and balances!! So glad to see the courts can make the Environmental Protection Agency continue to protect the environment!

    Like (142)
    Follow
    Share
  • notorious
    08/03/2017
    ···

    This should never have come into question.

    Like (93)
    Follow
    Share
  • Lawrence
    08/03/2017
    ···

    They should be forced to comply with previous administrations’ rulings.

    Like (89)
    Follow
    Share
  • Pego
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Climate change and pollution MUST become a number one priority! This is the real "America first" issue. Stop putting greedy industries above our lives and future. Stop pretending they provide such great jobs! Sustainable energy provides more jobs and more stable work! Clean regulations level the playing fields between giant corporations with lobbyists and small business owners. There is no rational or factual argument that places the fossil fuel industry over America's health and wellbeing.

    Like (86)
    Follow
    Share
  • Skyelav
    08/03/2017
    ···

    How dare you allow Trump to pollute the air. I bet he doesn't even know what methane is never mind what it does. Disgraceful.

    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
  • Gavin
    08/03/2017
    ···

    They should be forced to comply. The policies were passed by elected officials and their appointees. Opening everything up to comment will allow the oil and gas industry to flood public forums with false claims about an alleged climate change "hoax" thus undermining any meaningful discussion.

    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
  • Kate
    08/03/2017
    ···

    I your constituent am very happy about this court ruling. Your mother (earth) thanks the court.

    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
  • Susan
    08/03/2017
    ···

    They should be forced to comply with the previous administrations

    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
  • Marylynn
    08/03/2017
    ···

    They never should've been able to rescind all the protective actions that were taken by President Obama.

    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
  • karamauerhan
    08/03/2017
    ···

    YES!! We desperately need these kinds of wins. I don't understand why Donald Dump and the GOP are hell bent on ruining the planet. Methane emissions are the number one cause of global warming whether they want to believe it or not!

    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
  • Matthew
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Don't let Scott Pruitt play his and Trump's game so they can put more $ in their pockets. Keep all regulations previously approved in place. Less than 3 1/2 years til it will be safe again.

    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
  • Michael
    08/03/2017
    ···

    We must not allow this administration to dismantle the EPA. Contact your representatives

    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
  • Michael
    08/03/2017
    ···

    EPA regulations must be supported.

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • Dani
    08/03/2017
    ···

    This is great news. The EPA should do just that, protect our environment!

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • Leahrae
    08/03/2017
    ···

    The Trump administration is not acting in the best interest of the American people! It is irresponsible to the climate of the United States and the world! Our President has over reached his authority with his attempt to undo all actions of the prior administration! As a voting resident of the United Stated I approve the action of this court! Please as my representatives vote my views!

    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
  • Gary
    08/03/2017
    ···

    Please maintain and strengthen air and water pollution mandates from the Obama era. Curtailing climate change by enforcing air and water pollution rules is far less expensive than cleaning up after billion-dollar weather disasters which are amplified by air pollution. Prevent some of them instead! I support a clean energy economy. My family is living a carbon neutral lifestyle, and State and federal rebates helped me achieve this. No industry should be allowed to pollute water or air for corporate profit.

    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
  • Susan
    08/03/2017
    ···

    They should be forced to comply with previous administrations’ rulings.

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share