Trump Loses Yet Another Federal Case

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

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.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate