Environmentalists and their allies (We’re looking at you, Hickenlooper) have found a way to block the Trump administration from delaying some of Obama’s more egregious midnight rule-making through court challenges with friendly judges.
Greenies won their first victory this week when a federals appeals court in DC ruled that the head of the EPA overstepped his authority by delaying the methane rule until stakeholders had sufficient time to comment on the rule.
Ruling in favor of environmentalists were Judge David Tatel, a Clinton nominee, and Judge Robert Wilkins who was appointed by Obama,
Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who was appointed by George W. Bush, was the lone dissenting vote.
Monday’s decision does not mean the rule imposing the first-ever federal limits on leaks of methane cannot be reversed. But to do so, the judges said, the agency would have to undertake a new rule-making process to undo the regulation and must comply with the Obama-era rule in the meantime.
EPA spokeswoman Amy Graham said the agency was reviewing the court’s opinion and examining its options. The EPA could seek to appeal the matter to the Supreme Court.
The ruling underscores the extent to which activists are turning to the courts to block Mr. Trump’s most ambitious policy shifts.
Hickenlooper’s office joined in supporting the environmental group’s lawsuit using outside lawyers, because Attorney General Cynthia Coffman declined to pursue the case, and good for her.