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Wyoming, Montana continue seeking relief in Washington coal export terminal case


CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s office announced on Monday that both Wyoming and Montana have filed a response to the federal Solicitor General in their lawsuit against Washington state’s denial of a proposed coal export terminal permit.

In the case, Wyoming and Montana are arguing that Washington’s actions discriminate against the coal-rich states and that only the U.S. Supreme Court can grant the relief they seek.

Gordon’s office notes that the Solicitor General submitted a brief in the case on May 26 which argued that the case is moot because of the bankruptcy of Millennium Bulk Terminals’ parent company.

“The Court should exercise its original jurisdiction and allow Montana and Wyoming to vindicate their sovereign interests,” the response to the Solicitor Seneral states. It also argues that the Supreme Court should not dismiss Wyoming and Montana’s complaint “simply because Washington’s discriminatory policies successfully bankrupted the most recent developer.”

Gordon’s office says that Wyoming and Montana argue in their response that their interests extend beyond the status of a single developer interested in constructing a coal export terminal.

“Washington’s discriminatory policies will continue to block coal port development and dissuade other developers from taking up the project even though it is otherwise economically viable,” Gordon’s office said.

Wyoming and Montana argue that both states have “an abundance of low-sulfur, cleaner burning coal, and foreign markets want it.”

“The terminal in Longview remains an ideal site to export that coal to Asian and other foreign markets,” the response to the Solicitor General states. “And Montana and Wyoming still have no other export option, besides an already overburdened Canadian Port.”

Gordon added in the release:“As I have stated repeatedly, this case is about the significant Constitutional issue of one State’s actions preventing another State from engaging in interstate commerce. It’s about more than just one developer or industry – it’s about Washington’s unconstitutional and inappropriate use of policy to stifle commerce in another state.”

Wyoming and Montana’s full response to the Solicitor General can be found online.