Twenty states have filed a joint lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for weakening regulations on methane emissions from the oil and gas industries. The plaintiffs say the fires raging on the West Coast are an example of the dangers of climate change.
“Our climate emergency is increasingly a public health emergency. The toll of the natural disaster we face from unprecedented wildfires is increasingly measured in human life,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “How many wake-up calls do our nation‘s leaders need to take climate action?”
Last month, the Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era rule reducing methane emissions, which have been shown to contribute to our warming climate.
“EPA has been working hard to fulfill President Trump’s promise to cut burdensome and ineffective regulations for our domestic energy industry,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said at the time, adding that the move complied with the president’s 2017 executive order promoting energy independence and economic growth. “Regulatory burdens put into place by the Obama-Biden administration fell heavily on small and medium-sized energy businesses.”
“The lawsuit is California’s 54th against the Trump administration to challenge rollbacks to key environmental protections. California is joined in the lawsuit by 19 other Democrat-led states, including rising oil and gas producer New Mexico, and four districts and municipalities,” notes Reuters.