Court Forcing Trump To Enact Obama-Era Environmental Regs

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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A federal court is forcing the Trump administration to enact four environmental regulations crafted by former President Barack Obama’s administration, The Hill reported.

Obama’s Department of Energy (DOE) released the rules in December 2016. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, before a 45-day window to correct or cut the rules timed out. The Trump administration has continued the review period indefinitely, not publishing the rules in the Federal Register and implementing them, according to The Hill on Thursday.

“This failure is a violation of the Department’s duties under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act,” Judge Vince Chhabria wrote Thursday. “Therefore, summary judgment is granted to the plaintiffs, and the Department is ordered to publish the standards.”

Obama nominated Chhabria to serve in the federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

The court’s ruling is the result of two separate lawsuits, one brought by environmental groups and the other by states. The Natural Resources Defense Council lead the environmentalists’ suit while California led the legal action from states against Trump’s DOE, The Associated Press reported.

The states’ lawsuit argues for the Obama environmental regulations’ implementation. The states claim the rules will reduce greenhouse gases while saving consumers and businesses billions on energy costs. The lawsuit claims energy savings would equal 19 million households a year, according to the AP.

The court has given the agency less than a month to publish the standards and begin enforcing the ruled more than a year after they were made public.

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