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EPA must enforce Obama methane pollution rule, says court

Staff Writer |
A federal court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce a methane pollution regulation imposed by former President Barack Obama's administration and challenged by President Donald Trump.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia issued the ruling Monday, after a three-judge panel of the court originally ruled last month that the EPA unlawfully delayed implementing the rule.

The ruling Monday came after the court gave the EPA a two-week reprieve from its decision last month. Even with the reprieve, the Trump administration hasn't asked the full 11-judge court to rehear the case - which is standard practice when appealing a ruling from a three-judge panel.

In its July ruling, the court said the EPA broke the law when it attempted to stall enforcement of the Obama-era rule requiring limits on methane emissions in the oil and natural gas drilling industry - and requirements that companies identify and repair methane leaks.

The agency sought a two-year pause in the new rules to examine their impact.

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