Balderas & Becerra vs. Trump: Federal Court Rules President’s Interior Department Broke the Law


Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Santa Fe, NM – Today, a federal court agreed with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra that President Trump’s Department of Interior broke the law earlier this year when it attempted to “delay” a rule that had already taken effect. The rule is extremely important to New Mexico schoolchildren because it would have calculated royalty payments on oil and gas leases on federal land in New Mexico in a manner that would bring significantly more money to the state. New Mexico, and all other states with federal land within their boundaries that is leased for oil and gas development, receive a portion of the royalties from the production. Under New Mexico law, royalty payments are spent entirely on public education.

“Attorney General Becerra and I sued President Trump because his administration broke the law trying to deny New Mexico’s public school students the royalties they are owed,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “I’m pleased that a federal court agreed with us that Donald Trump broke the law as this is a big win for New Mexico’s students, families and teachers.”

Assistant Attorney General William Grantham from the Consumer and Environmental Protection Division was New Mexico’s lead attorney on the case.

A copy of the order is attached.

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