By MATTHEW DALY | February 23, 2018 2:21 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — A second judge has told the Trump administration it can’t keep stalling clean-air rules for oil and gas production on federal lands.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick of the Northern District of California ordered the Interior Department to reinstate the Obama-era regulation aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions. Orrick said late Thursday the administration’s delay is “untethered to evidence” and likely to cause “irreparable injury” to California, New Mexico and other states from increased air pollution and negative impacts on public health and the climate.
The ruling marked the second time a federal judge has rebuffed the Trump administration for failing to enforce the methane rule. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte rejected an earlier effort by Interior to postpone part of the rule and ordered the Obama rule reinstated in October. Laporte serves on the same court, which is based in San Francisco.