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Judge’s Methane Rule Rings Alarm Bells for Those Watching Coney Barrett Nomination

Big Oil Corporations' and CEOs' Score Major Win From Activist Judge 

WASHINGTON - In a decision yesterday that should ring alarm bells for those watching Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, a Wyoming District Judge struck down the commonsense rule regulating the wasteful climate warming practice of venting and flaring methane natural gas. The decision now allows the fossil fuel industry to emit unregulated toxic emissions — pumping tons of greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere. 

An ominous foreshadowing of rulings to come, it sets the stage for a Coney Barrett Supreme Court confirmation battle (should President Trump get his way) that is sure to focus heavily on the nominee’s record of siding with corporate interests 76% of the time and how she would rule on this or similar corporate climate change denying legal challenges.  

“Be afraid – be very afraid. This is just the type of judicial activism we can expect from Amy Coney Barrett if she is confirmed. An overwhelming majority of the time, Coney Barrett's rules in favor of wealthy corporate interests over the health, safety and pocketbooks of American families,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “The idea that the nation’s top land and natural resource management agency lacks the ability to ensure publicly owned resources developed on our public lands that negatively impact our health and climate, can only be described as a disservice to both Americans and the law.”   

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Eliminating the Obama era rule has been a top priority of Trump’s in an effort to pay back his wealthy donors in the fossil fuel sector.  

According to a 2016 study by Western Values Project, without the BLM rule, the oil and gas industry would forgo up to $800 million in royalty payments over the next decade. Trump’s former scandal-plagued Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attempted to suspend the rule in 2017 after former Senator John McCain sided with Democrats in preserving the commonsense rule that saves taxpayers millions.  

Former oil lobbyist Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s client, the Independent Petroleum Association, was also a petitioner in the case.  

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Accountable.US is exposing corruption across all levels of government and holding our policymakers accountable. We are a nonpartisan watchdog group that is uncompromising in our search for the truth. And we are committed to making sure public officials are advancing policies in the public interest, across a wide range of issues.

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