SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced a lawsuit Oct. 17 against the U.S. Department of Interior, alleging it illegally repealed the Valuation Rule.

The Valuation Rule went into place Jan. 1 after having been finalized in July 2016. Under the rule, oil and gas producers must provider a certain royalty payment whenever they extract oil, gas, and coal from public and tribal lands. According to Becerra, the rule ensures taxpayers in the state receive fair value for the extractions. In California and New Mexico, the royalty payment includes a portion that goes toward public education.

“Fossil fuel companies are rejoicing at the giveaways that this administration provides them on a regular basis," Beccera said. "This is yet another example of the Trump administration bending over backward to please the oil, gas and, in particular, the coal industry. The president has shown what side he is on, and it is not the side of American taxpayers. 

"My job is to protect Californians against this administration’s attempts to illegally roll back commonsense regulations that benefit the American people.”

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