CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s office said on Tuesday, June 23 that Wyoming and Montana have submitted a reply brief to the United States Supreme Court.
Wyoming and Montana are challenging the State of Washington’s decision to deny a permit for a proposed coal export terminal. Gordon’s office says the proposed terminal would “provide access to new markets for Wyoming and Montana coal.”
“In the brief, Wyoming and Montana reject the State of Washington’s arguments and stand united in their belief that Washington’s action in denying a permit for the coal terminal is unconstitutional,” Gordon’s office said. “Wyoming and Montana have argued that the denial violates both the Commerce Clause and the Foreign Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.”
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Gordon said that not opening the port could cost the state millions of dollars in annual revenue.
“This discriminatory action by another state limits our ability to ship low-sulfur coal to buyers overseas,” Gordon said in the release. “These exports would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in critical state revenue each year, employ hundreds of people, and replace dirtier coal that is mined with fewer environmental and labor regulations.”
“But ultimately, this suit is not just about coal– it is about a precedent that would allow coastal states to arbitrarily deny access to interior states.”
The governor’s office adds that the reply brief supports the state’s opinion that the Supreme Court is “the only venue available to resolve the dispute between the states and that Washington’s denial of the Clean Water Act permit was based on politics not water quality concerns.”
The release adds that with the filing of the brief, the Supreme Court has the “filings necessary” to decide whether to take up the case.
“I remain confident the Supreme Court will allow the case to proceed and that the court will put a stop to Washington’s unlawful discrimination against Wyoming coal,” Gordon said in the release.