U.S. officials ignored potential ecological damage, judges rule.
Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands.
Judges have ruled administration officials ignored or downplayed potential environmental damage in lawsuits over oil and gas leases, coal mining and pipelines to transport fuels across the U.S., according to an Associated Press review of more than a dozen major environmental cases.
The latest ruling against the administration came Thursday when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines that a lower court had canceled.
Actions taken by the courts have ranged from orders for more environmental analysis to the unprecedented cancellation of oil and gas leases across hundreds of thousands of acres in Western states.
“Many of the decisions the Trump administration has been making are arguably illegal and in some cases blatantly so,” said Mark Squillace, associate dean at the University of Colorado Law School and a specialist in natural resources law. “They’ve lost a lot of cases.”
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