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AG Sues Feds Over Methane Rule Delay

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Attorneys General in New Mexico and California are suing the federal government over its delay of Obama-era air pollution rules. 

The Trump administration’s delay of rules limiting methane emissions from oil and gas wells has been met with praise by some in the energy industry, who say they are too burdensome. Environmental groups argue that rolling back methane limits would harm public health and the environment.

Now New Mexico’s attorney general, Hector Balderas, is saying the federal government doesn’t have the authority to delay rules that are already in place.  

"They’re trying to force through their own view of what things should look like without following the law," said Cholla Khoury, who handles environmental protection for Balderas. She added that blocking the rules is a risk to public health in New Mexico.

"Breathing air pollution is bad for all of us," Khoury said. "Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, so we have climate change concerns there. All the way down the line it’s bad for human health."

Earlier this week, a federal court ruled that the EPA acted illegally by delaying similar rules on oil and gas operations.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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