By Amanda Marcotte (excerpted) –
California can’t save us from the Donald Trump apocalypse, but California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is determined to do whatever he can to reduce the damage. In the first year of Trump’s presidency, Becerra racked up two dozen lawsuits against the administration for its attempts to roll back federal regulations protecting immigrants, service members, students, health care and the environment.
It’s a staggering amount of work, on a broad scale, but perhaps the most extensive effort by Becerra’s office is in the field of environmental protection. On Tuesday, his office filed what will likely be its last suit of 2017 against the Trump administration, demanding that the Bureau of Land Management enforce an Obama-era regulation requiring oil and gas drilling companies on federal lands to capture and use the methane released during drilling, instead of venting it into the air where it becomes a contributing factor in climate change.
“We believe the Trump Administration’s actions aren’t just wrong, they’re illegal,” Becerra explained in an email statement to Salon. “No one is above the law. And no one should put protecting polluters ahead of protecting our planet or people. California didn’t get to be the sixth largest economy in the world by sitting back.”