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Chair Grijalva on Ruling Against Trump Weakening of Methane Rule: “The Administration Tried to Pass Off Pro-Polluter Fan Fiction as a Federal Regulation”

07.16.20

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruling rejecting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) attempt to rescind the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule.

“The courts are now continuously striking down the Trump administration’s attempts to dismantle our public health and environmental laws. This decision is another rejection of the president’s corrupt approach, which caters only to his polluter friends at public expense. We know that methane leaks are very harmful to our climate and to public health – I’ve personally visited impacted communities and heard from families across the country that demand relief from this horrible pollution. The Bureau of Land Management ignored every relevant law, silenced communities in the process, and tried to pass off pro-polluter fan fiction as a federal regulation, which is why Sen. Tom Udall and I led an amicus brief against this rule change. We’re seeing more and more evidence that in addition to warming our planet, air pollution from oil and gas development has serious health impacts on pregnant mothers and newborn children and disproportionately pollutes the air that people of color breathe. Methane pollution is an environmental justice issue. As this incompetent administration staggers to a close, the courts and our colleagues in Congress need to take a hard look at the Trump administration’s destructive record and consider how much work remains to restore the rule of law in this country.”

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote in her ruling, “BLM’s backwards approach to rulemaking is not acceptable. It cannot propose a rule based on factual conclusion, provide no evidence for the same, and then, when confronted with the glaring inadequacy, attempt to backfill the record without public comment. … In its zeal, BLM simply engineered a process to ensure a preordained conclusion.”

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