WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to move ahead with a rule that aims to reduce planet-warming emissions from oil and gas operations.

The split decision of a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit finds that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt overstepped his authority.

Pruitt had sought to delay implementation of an Obama-era rule requiring oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce methane leaks.

The appeals court disagrees with Pruitt's contention that industry groups had not had sufficient opportunity to comment before the rule was enacted. The judges also say Pruitt lacks the legal authority to delay the rule from taking effect.

The EPA could seek to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.