CA Federal Court Invalidates Trump Rollback Allowing Methane Pollution on Federal Lands

CA Federal Court Invalidates Trump Rollback Allowing Methane Pollution on Federal Lands

A federal court in California on Wednesday tossed out the Trump Administration’s rollback of an Obama administration rule that limited wasteful venting, flaring, and leaking of gas from drilling operations on federal and tribal lands. The Judge re-instated the prior Obama Administration rule beginning in 90 days.

Why This Matters:  Once again, the Trump Administration’s flagrant disregard for democratic principles of government and the rule of law came back to bite them.

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Trump Administration Minimizes Benefits of Carbon Regulation and Cuts NEPA Reviews

Trump Administration Minimizes Benefits of Carbon Regulation and Cuts NEPA Reviews

A government watchdog report issued yesterday found, according to The Hill, that the Trump administration has been “systematically underestimating the damage caused by carbon pollution, slashing figures used under the Obama administration to weigh the impacts” of regulations to curb emissions.  And late yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Trump will finalize and implement his proposal to fundamentally weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a bedrock environmental law.

Why This Matters:  These changes will make it easier to relax rules on carbon pollution and will result in more damaging environmental projects done by the government.

 

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Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases  in Montana

Court Voids 287 Oil and Gas Leases in Montana

Cutting corners is the Trump Administration’s calling card — and oops, they did it again — and as a result, a federal judge late last week threw out hundreds of oil and gas leases covering nearly 150,000 acres of federal land in Montana.

Why This Matters:  What can we say.  It’s good that they are so bad at being awful.

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Trump Administration Had Secret Industry Backchannel for Comments on NEPA Rollback

Trump Administration Had Secret Industry Backchannel for Comments on NEPA Rollback

Environmental groups and Democratic Senators decried the White House Council on Environmental Quality using a separate, non-public email address for its select friends in industry and business to submit views on the administration’s proposal to weaken the regulations implementing a bedrock environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

Why This Matters:  The whole point of NEPA is for the public to know the environmental impacts of government actions and have a chance to comment on them — it is a sunshine law at its core.

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Trump Admin Dismisses Climate Impact in Proposed NEPA Overhaul

Trump Admin Dismisses Climate Impact in Proposed NEPA Overhaul

Through a proposed rollback of NEPA, the Trump administration envisions that major new U.S. projects like highways and pipelines will no longer require federal reviews of their environmental climate impact.

 

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Fewer NEPA Reviews Ahead — And They Won’t Need to Consider Climate Change

Fewer NEPA Reviews Ahead — And They Won’t Need to Consider Climate Change

The Trump administration is taking its war on climate to infrastructure — it is expected to propose this week a rule rollback that in effect would allow agencies to NOT take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major federal actions and projects, according to The New York Times

Why This Matters:  Since no one pipeline or oil and gas well “causes” climate change, this rollback is designed to speed the development of many energy projects according to experts.

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