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Public Health New Mexico

Advocates File Lawsuit Over Trump Hold On Methane Rules

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Jeremy Buckingham
/
Flickr via Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Trump Administration are facing a lawsuit after they suspended a rule to curb oil and gas industry methane emissions for 90 days.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Emissions from oil and gas development can cause asthma and cancer.

“Common sense asks us to do something about this but so do our health, so do our families, so do our communities, and so do economics,” Feibelman said.

Camilla Feibelman is with the Sierra Club.  She said the rule to limit methane pollution was finalized last summer and they’re suing along with other groups to make sure the limits remain in effect. This is just another example of the Trump Administration working to undo Obama-era regulations, she said.

The lawsuit claims the EPA does not have the authority to pull the plug on the standards and that methane emissions expose people to adverse health effects.

In the announcement of the hold, the EPA cited a provision in the Clean Air Act that allows for a 3-month administrative stay for regulations under certain circumstances. The agency has until June 15th to respond to the lawsuit.

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