By Patrick McGreevy

California and New Mexico sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its action to repeal requirements aimed at reducing methane leakage on federal and tribal lands, according to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The lawsuit against the federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was filed in San Francisco and argues that the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule facing repeal is needed to reduce waste of natural gas and air pollution.

The states argued the agency's action is "an abuse of discretion" that is "in excess of their statutory authority." The court filing says the repeal of the rule violates federal laws requiring agencies to provide a "reasoned analysis for the change," and a detailed report on the environmental impacts.

"With this attempt to axe the Waste Prevention Rule, the Trump administration risks the air our children breathe and at taxpayers' expense," Becerra said in a statement. "We've sued the administration before over the illegal delay and suspension of this rule and will continue doing everything in our power to hold them accountable for the sake of our people and planet."

The lawsuit, which is the latest of multiple court cases involving the rule, argues that California is already experiencing the adverse effects of climate change, including an increased risk of wildfires, droughts and air pollution harming the health of state residents.

(c)2018 Los Angeles Times