Trump Loses Yet Another Federal Case

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Speaking of the Trump administration’s inability to get anything done because they don’t understand the law, today brings yet another example:

A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing in the West.

The decision by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras marks the first time the Trump administration has been held to account for the climate impact of its energy-dominance agenda, and it could have sweeping implications for the president’s plan to boost fossil fuel production across the country. Contreras concluded that Interior’s Bureau of Land Management “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when making decisions to auction off federal land in Wyoming to oil and gas drilling. The judge temporarily blocked drilling on roughly 300,000 acres of land in the state.

….While the Interior Department began to take into account the climate impacts of federal oil, gas and coal leasing toward the end of President Obama’s second term, Trump administration officials jettisoned those plans right after President Trump took office. Trump and several of his top deputies have dismissed recent federal findings that the United States and other countries must curb their carbon output in the next decade or face potentially disastrous consequences from climate change.

You see what happened? The Obama folks took a long time to put new policies in place, but that’s because they followed the rules. They got sued anyway, and who knows? Maybe they would have lost. However, the Trumpies just casually dumped Obama’s policies, which goes over well with big donors and the Republican base but guarantees a loss in court because it’s illegal. This is why Obama said, as he was leaving office, that his legacy might be a wee bit harder to kill off than Trump thought.

UPDATE: I changed the final paragraph to make it clear that the lawsuit was originally against the Obama administration. However, it was defended in court by the Trump administration.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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