ATTORNEY GENERAL HECTOR BALDERAS
TOTAL ACTIONS: 28

Updated June 12, 2018

MAY 2018

May 31, 2018
Sued EPA Over Failure to Implement Landfill Methane Regulation
A coalition of eight Attorneys General filed a lawsuit against the EPA over its failure to implement and enforce a critical landfill methane regulation. The regulation would reduce landfill emissions of volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, carbon dioxide, and methane. It went into effect on October 28, 2016, but the EPA has not implemented or enforced it.
[ Complaint | 8 AGs: California; Illinois; Maryland; New Mexico; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont ]


APRIL 2018

April 26, 2018
Filed Comments Calling for Recusal of EPA Administrator from CPP
Ten attorneys general as well as six municipalities filed a supplemental comment letter "on the lack of due process and fairness resulting from Administrator Scott Pruitt's prejudgment of the outcome of the rulemaking to repeal the Clean Power Plan  and the procedural failure of Environmental Protection Agency to disqualify Administrator Pruitt from all aspects of this rulemaking given his closed mind."
[Release | Comments | 10 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; Oregon; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


April 26, 2018
Filed Comments to Defend the Clean Power Plan
Nineteen attorneys general filed comments with the EPA to defend the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and oppose the "unlawful and unsupported" repeal proposed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA's proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is contrary to the Clean Air Act and arbitrary and capricious. To propose to repeal the Plan-without having first put in place a replacement rule that requires equivalent or greater pollution reductions-is nothing less than an abdication of EPA's duty to protect public health and welfare from what it has recognized to be the nation's most urgent environmental threat," wrote the attorneys general.
[ReleaseComments | 19 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


April 23, 2018
Filed Comments to Defend the Methane Waste Prevention Rule
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management, "in opposition to the proposal by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management ('BLM') to rescind or revise certain requirements of its 2016 final rule governing the prevention of waste from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands."
[ Comments | 2 AGs: California; New Mexico]


April 5, 2018
Sued EPA For Failing to Control Methane Pollution
New York Attorney General Eric  Schneiderman and 14 other attorneys general "filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for ignoring its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations. Specifically, the suit charges that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has violated the federal Clean Air Act by 'unreasonably delaying' its mandatory obligation under the Act to control methane emissions from these operations."
[Release | Complaint | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


April 3, 2018
Vowed to Oppose Vehicle Emissions Standards Rollback in Declaration with Mayors
State attorneys general were joined by mayors nationwide today in releasing a declaration vowing to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest rollback -- national clean car standards -- in order to protect the environment and their residents from unhealthy air. The declaration from more than 50 cities and over 25 states makes clear their opposition to the rollback of a federal rule that sets targets for an increasingly clean, efficient and high-performance vehicle fleet through model year 2025.
[Release | Declaration | 12 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Virginia; Washington, D.C.]


MARCH 2018

March 23, 2018
Threatened to Sue EPA for Unlawful Delay of Landfille Emissions Rule
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of seven attorneys general in threatening to sue the EPA in 60 days if it continues to refuse to enforce a critical rule that protects public health and the environment. The Landfill Emissions Rule aims to reduce emissions of methane and other compounds that pose threats to air quality, creating a public health risk. The rule regulates emissions of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, from the third largest source of methane emissions in the country, landfills.
Release Notice of Intent to Sue | 7 AGs: California; Illinois; Maryland; New Mexico; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont]  


FEBRUARY 2018

February 27, 2018
Responded To EPA's “Advance Notice” Of Rule To Possibly Replace Clean Power Plan
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led 18 attorneys general in filing comments opposing the "Environmental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ('Advance Notice') on a 'potential' replacement to the Clean Power Plan."
[Release | Comments | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


JANUARY 2018

January 9, 2018
Called on Scott Pruitt to be Recused from Clean Power Plan Repeal Process
EPA's "failure to disqualify" Administrator Scott Pruitt from the Clean Power Plan repeal process has "irreparably tainted" the rulemaking because he "prejudged" the outcome prior to and during his tenure leading the Agency, resulting in a "lack of due process and fairness," argued California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 12 other attorneys general and six municipalities, in comments filed today. Therefore, EPA "must withdraw the proposed repeal," or "any resulting rule will be invalid."
[Release Comments | 13 AGs: California; Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Vermont; and Washington; and Washington, D.C.]


January 5, 2018
Sought to Slam Brakes on EPA Rollback of Truck Rule 
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  led 12 attorneys general in opposing the EPA's attempt to repeal a key rule that limits the amount of emissions permitted from trucks known as "gliders." These trucks have a new body but a refurbished engine. The 2016 Glider Rule holds these trucks to the same emissions standards new trucks must meet. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced he would seek to repeal the Glider Rule, reportedly after meeting “with the manufacturer that stands to benefit most from the rule’s repeal."
[Release Comments 12 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; and Washington]


DECEMBER 2017

December 19, 2017
After Winning Previous Lawsuit, Sued Dept. of the Interior for Suspending Methane Waste Prevention Rule
Attorneys general filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "over its decision to suspend the Waste Prevention Rule. The Rule went into effect on January 17, 2017 but was illegally suspended by the Trump Administration on December 8, 2017. The Rule requires oil and natural gas producers to cut wasteful leakage of methane on federal lands. In the lawsuit, Attorneys General Becerra and Balderas underscored that suspending key provisions of the Rule would be arbitrary and capricious as well as contrary to BLM's statutory mandate to prevent waste and ensure the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources on public lands."
[Release | Complaint | 2 AGs: California and New Mexico]


NOVEMBER 2017

November 22, 2017
Opposed Fee Hikes at Most Popular National Parks
Attorneys general filed comments opposing the National Park Service’s (NPS) proposal "to dramatically increase entrance fees at 17 national parks...Under the proposal, the per vehicle entrance fee during the five-month peak season would increase to $70 from $25 or $30. Motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian entrance fees would also increase by double or more." 
[Release |Comments to National Park Service | 11 AGs: Arizona; California; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Washington; Washington, D.C.]  


November 6, 2017
Opposed Delay of BLM's Waste Prevention Rule 
Attorneys general filed comments opposing the  proposal by the BLM "to delay and suspend certain requirements of its 2016 final rule governing the prevention of waste from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands. Promulgated less than one year ago, the Waste Prevention Rule provides a commonsense and much-needed update to BLM’s rules governing the waste of natural gas and royalty payments from mineral leases administered by BLM." [Release | Comments to Interior | 2 AGs: California, New Mexico]


OCTOBER 2017

October 17, 2017
Sued Dept. of the Interior for Unlawfully Repealing Valuation Rule, Which Ensures Taxpayers Receive Fair Share for Mineral Extraction
In District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general "for unlawfully repealing a rule that ensures taxpayers and States receive fair value for oil, gas, and coal extracted from public and tribal lands. California and New Mexico apply their portion of these royalties towards public education."
[Release |Complaint | 2 AGs: California and New Mexico]


AUGUST 2017

August 31, 2017
Called on EPA Administrator Pruitt to Retract Erroneous And Inappropriate Clean Power Plan Guidance 
"New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 20 states and localities in urging the retraction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 'legally incorrect' guidance to States regarding Clean Power Plan implementation -- which was not just legally erroneous, but also flies in the face of Administrator Scott Pruitt’s subsequent agreement to recuse himself from the Clean Power Plan litigation given his conflicts of interest."
[Release | Letter to EPA | 14 AGs: California; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


August 9, 2017
Opposed EPA’s Illegal Proposed Delay of Rule Limiting Methane Emissions 
Attorneys general "submitted comments in opposition to EPA's proposed 27-month compliance delay of an important public health rule put forward during the Obama Administration. The methane new source rule now in place limits emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas by encouraging the use of emerging technology in leak monitoring and setting a fixed schedule for monitoring leaks at all well sites and compressor stations."
[Release | Comments to EPA |13 AGs: California; Illinios; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington, D.C.]


August 1, 2017
Filed Lawsuit Against EPA For Stalling Action On Clean Air 
In D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general sued EPA for "illegally stalling the designation of areas impacted by unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone (known as smog) – vital to protecting New Yorkers and other Americans from dangerous pollution."
[Release |Petition for Review |16 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


JULY 2017

July 25, 2017
Sued EPA for Illegally Delaying Rule that Protect Communities & First Responders from Chemical Accidents 
In D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general sued EPA "for illegally delaying a vital rule meant to protect communities, workers, and first responders from dangerous chemical accidents. The rule – the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements or the 'Chemical Accident Safety Rule'– makes critical improvements to Congressionally-mandated protections against explosions, fires, poisonous gas releases, and other accidents at more than 12,000 facilities across the country—including over 200 in New York—that store and use toxic chemicals. "
[Release |Petition for Review | 11 AGs: Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington]


July 5, 2017
Filed Lawsuit Against the Dept. of the Interior for Illegally Ignoring Methane Waste Prevention Rule
In United States District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Managemet for seeking to delay  "certain compliance dates of the 'Waste Prevention Rule,' which was promulgated by the Bureau on November 18, 2016. Waste Prevention Rule provides a much-needed update of 38-year-old regulations governing the release of natural gas from new and existing oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands, and clarifies when gas lost through venting, flaring, or leaks is subject to royalties. The Bureau estimated that the Rule would have substantial annual benefits, including producing up to 41 billion cubic feet of additional natural gas, eliminating 175,000-180,000 tons of methane emissions, cutting emissions of hazardous air pollutants by 250,000-267,000 tons, and generating up to $14 million in additional royalties. The Rule became effective on January 17, 2017."
[Release | Complaint | Judgment | 2 AGs: California and New Mexico]


JUNE 2017

June 29, 2017
Vowed Lawsuit If EPA Continues Ignoring Legal Duty To Control Methane Pollution 
Attorneys general "put the Trump Administration on notice today that they plan to sue if the Administration continues to ignore its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the coalition provides the required notice of their intention to sue the Agency for failing to fulfill its mandatory obligation under the Clean Air Act to control methane emissions from existing oil and natural gas sources and for 'unreasonably delaying' the issuance of such controls."      
[Release | Intent to Sue Letter | 15 AGs: California; Connecticut; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


June 20, 2017
Filed Intervention In EPA Lawsuit Seeking Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions 
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general filed "a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s actions to halt regulation of leaks of greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants from new sources in the oil and gas industry."
[Release |Motion to Intervene | DC Court of Appeals | 14 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Illinois; Iowa; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


June 6, 2017
Joined National "We Are Still In" Pledge To Maintain Commitments To Paris Climate Agreement 
Attorneys general declared they are still committed to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord after President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the agreement.
[Release | Pledge | 19 AGs: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C.]

MAY 2017

May 10, 2017
Sued Dept. of the Interior Over Restarting Coal Leasing
In District Court, District of Montana, Great Falls Division, attorneys general sued the Department of the Interior after its decision "to restart federal coal leasing on public land while, at the same time, cutting short an ongoing, and long overdue, environmental review of the program." The suit "seeks to protect state residents from dangerous pollution that results from coal mining."
[Release | Complaint | 4 AGs: California; New Mexico; New York; Washington] 


May 8, 2017
AG Balderas Wrote to Sec. Zinke on Importance of National Monuments
Attorney General Hector Balderas wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke expressing concern about pontential efforts to roll back protections for New Mexico's cherished national monuments.
[Letter to Interior | New Mexico]


APRIL 2017

April 27, 2017
Sued Dept. of the Interior for Delaying Valuation Rule that Ensures Taxpayers Receive Fair Share for Mineral Extraction
In District Court, Northern District of California, attorneys general sued the Dept. of the Interior "for delaying the implementation of one of its own rules promulgated to ensure that taxpayers receive their fair share of royalties from companies that extract oil, gas, and coal from federal lands. The rule, known as the Valuation Rule, was finalized by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) in the Department of the Interior on July 1, 2016, and went into effect on January 1, 2017. The product of five years of public engagement, the Valuation Rule replaced outdated regulations that no longer ensured that taxpayers received adequate compensation from the extraction of federally-owned natural resources. It also addressed a loophole that allowed the coal industry to sell coal at artificially low prices."
[Release Complaint | 2 AGs: California and New Mexico]


April 26, 2017
Opposed Bill Delaying EPA Protections for Ozone Air Quality Standards 
Attorneys general urged "Congress to protect critical ozone air quality standards. In letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the coalition detailed its opposition to the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263 / H.R. 806) which would delay the ozone rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. That rule is expected to result in vital public health benefits."
[Release | Letter to Congress | 16 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Iowa; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.


April 5, 2017
Opposed EPA's Efforts To Stall Clean Power Plan Case 
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general "filed opposition to the Trump administration’s request to delay court proceedings regarding the Clean Power Plan...after President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan and decide whether to 'suspend, rescind, or revise' it...EPA filed a motion asking the court to hold the litigation in abeyance while the Agency reconsiders the rule."
[Release | Opposition to Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance |18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Deleware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


FEBRUARY 2017

February 7, 2017
Opposed U.S. Senate Resolution to Void Methane Gas Safeguards
Attorneys general "sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opposing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would void important safeguards that are vital to controlling the leaking, venting, and flaring of methane from oil and natural gas developments on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management."
[Release | Letter to Congress | 7 AGs: Illinois; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont]