On August 30th, a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration violated federal law when it attempted to block the valuation rule. Finalized by the Obama administration in July of 2016, the rule closed unintentional accounting loopholes that allowed coal companies to profit at the expense of American taxpayers. The court ruled that the Trump administration’s unilateral attempt to block these common-sense fixes without any input from the public violated the Administrative Procedure Act.Donald Trump and Ryan Zinke’s attempt to repeal the rule would have cost the American people an estimated $75 million per year.
In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Nathaniel Shoaff released the following statement:
“Once again, the courts have struck down Trump’s attempts to prioritize the fossil fuel industry over his duty to protect American-owned lands for public use and enjoyment. Trump sought to embrace a broken system that sells America’s public lands for pennies on the dollar to coal companies which have reaped fat profits ruining our land and water. Rather than protecting American-owned lands for public use and enjoyment, Trump attempted — and failed — to give them away to prop up this now failing industry.
“Rules matter, and Trump’s attempts to dodge those rules — like the attempt to delay the EPA methane rule — will be met with opposition from the people and the courts. The Sierra Club and millions of Americans will not sit idly by as this administration seeks to gut climate and environmental standards at our communities’ expense.”
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