A federal appeals court on Thursday allowed the Trump administration to hold off on implementing emission rules for natural gas and oil drillers as it decides whether to appeal an earlier court decision that denied it from delaying the rules.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would delay its order from last week rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency's delay of the Obama administration methane regulations while the administration considers its options on appealing the earlier decision.
The court delayed the methane rules up to 14 days while the administration seeks an appeal. Delaying the regulations "for longer would hand the agency, in all practical effect, the very delay in implementation this panel determined to be [illegal]."
The court ruled July 3 that the EPA had no authority under the Clean Air Act to halt the Obama administration standards for controlling methane emissions from drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The decision was immediately followed by the court's mandate to implement the ruling. EPA had argued in response to the quick mandate that it needed time to consider its options.