SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in San Francisco says the Trump administration illegally delayed an Obama-era rule intended to increase royalty payments to taxpayers from oil, gas and coal extraction on federal lands.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte, however, stopped short Wednesday of reinstating the Obama rule.
Laporte noted that the Trump administration revoked the rule. The revocation takes effect on Sept. 6.
The judge said reinstating the Obama rule for a few days would disrupt the mining industry.
Watchdog groups long complained that taxpayers were losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually because royalties on resources from public lands were being improperly calculated. They applauded the Obama administration’s changes.
Critics said the changes would drive up energy costs and reduce energy investment on federal and Indian lands.
First Published August 31, 2017 12:00 AM