“Under the leadership of former fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, Trump’s EPA took final action to weaken rules that require oil and gas companies to monitor and repair leaking equipment,” the Sierra Club and other environmental groups said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “EPA’s action also deregulated fracked gas transmission and storage equipment and stripped away limits on methane pollution for the entire industry. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that is 87 times more powerful than carbon dioxide during the time it remains in the atmosphere.”
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will argue that EPA’s actions are unlawful under the Clean Air Act and that the agency must fully reinstate and enforce standards issued in 2016 under the Obama administration, according to the statement. The environmental groups also requested that the Court require EPA to continue enforcing methane standards for the full oil and gas industry as the legal challenge proceeds.