Federal Judge Smacks Down Trump Effort To Dismantle Obama-Era Environmental Protection

A federal judge smacked down a new effort by the Trump administration to roll back an Obama-era rule “aimed at restricting harmful methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands,” according to a new report on Wednesday.

The news comes as Donald Trump’s Interior Department was in the process of delaying the regulation until 2019, calling it “too burdensome to the industry.”

More from the report via The Washington Post:

The order by a judge in San Francisco came as the Interior Department moved to delay the rule until 2019, saying it was too burdensome to industry. The action followed an earlier effort by Interior to postpone part of the rule set to take effect next year.


U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte of the Northern District of California said Interior had failed to give a “reasoned explanation” for the changes and had not offered details why an earlier analysis by the Obama administration was faulty. She ordered the entire rule reinstated immediately.

As the U.S. Magistrate Judge Laporte noted in her ruling, the reason she called for the Obama-era rule to be reinstated right away is that the Trump administration cannot give a “reasoned explanation” as to why it’s flawed.

In a way, that cuts to the heart of everything this administration has done so far when it comes to environmental policy.

After all, there is no reasonable explanation for anything this president has done when it comes to the environment, whether it’s allowing toxic sludge to be dumped in our waterways or pulling out of the historic Paris climate accord.

While the previous administration let science and data drive its climate agenda, the Trump administration has had one goal in mind: destroying former President Obama’s environmental legacy.

On Wednesday, one federal judge reminded Donald Trump that hating Barack Obama is not a good enough reason to ignore key environmental protections.