CLIMATE CHANGE/EPA/INTERIOR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The rapid-fire push by the Trump administration to wipe out significant chunks of the Obama environmental legacy is running into a not-so-minor complication: Judges keep ruling that the Trump team is violating federal law.
The latest such ruling came late Wednesday [10-4-17], when a federal magistrate judge in Northern California vacated a move by the Department of Interior to delay compliance with rules curbing so-called flaring, a technique oil and gas companies use to burn off leaking methane. Flaring is blamed for contributing to climate change as well as lost tax revenues because the drilling is being done on federal land.
It was the third time since July that the Environmental Protection Agency or the Interior Department has been found to have acted illegally in their rush to roll back environmental rules. And in three other environmental cases, the Trump administration reversed course on its own after lawsuits accusing it of illegal actions were filed by environmental groups and Democratic state attorneys general.
The legal reversals reflect how aggressively Mr. Trump’s critics are challenging the administration’s efforts to rescind regulations enacted during the Obama administration, not only related to the environment, but to immigration, to consumer protection and to other areas.”
-Eric Lipton, “Courts Thwart Administration’s Effort to Rescind Obama-Era Environmental Regulations,” The New York Times online, Oct. 6, 2017