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Court Rejects Trump and Zinke’s Attempt to Delay Key Pollution Safeguard

WASHINGTON -  Last night, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) suspension of a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution from oil and gas development on public lands.

The court ruled that the Trump administration’s delay of the standard was not based in evidence, and that the states and environmental groups challenging the delay had “shown irreparable injury caused by the waste of publicly owned natural gas, increased air pollution and associated health impacts, and exacerbated climate impacts.”

The administration released a proposal last week that would gut the methane safeguard, but last night’s decision requires BLM to fully enforce the regulation immediately. This safeguard has already withstood a congressional challenge, and the Sierra Club and its partners successfully overturned the Trump administration’s first delay of the original rule in court.

In response, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin released the following statement:

“Though they seem to think otherwise, Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke are not above the law. Once again, the courts are serving as a critical backstop against their reckless attempts to unravel key protections for our air, water, and climate. This ruling is a victory for our communities’ health and the climate, and we will continue to fight to hold this administration accountable and defend this critical clean air standard.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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