In summary

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas in filing a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Department of the Interior for delaying the implementation of a rule intended to ensure that the taxpayers —and states— receive appropriate royalties from mining and energy companies leasing federal lands.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas in filing a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Department of the Interior for delaying the implementation of a rule intended to ensure that the taxpayers —and states— receive appropriate royalties from mining and energy companies leasing federal lands.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

The so-called Valuation Rule closes loopholes that allow coal companies to maintain artificially low prices, according to Becerra, and tightens regulations that require oil and gas companies to pay required royalties. The rule went into effect on Jan. 1 but the Trump administration postponed it from taking effect until litigation is resolved.

The states’ lawsuit claims that the action is invalid because the rule had already gone into effect.

Federal officials projected that royalty collections would increase by more than $78 million annually. Since 2008, California has received an average of $82.5 million annually in all royalties from federal mineral extraction within the state.

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Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times, where she held many positions: sportswriter, national correspondent and environment...