Cheney: Environmental policy “is no excuse” for Washington to encroach on Wyoming’s coal industry
CASPER, Wyoming – U.S. Representative for Wyoming Liz Cheney has said Washington State and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee should not be allowed to undermine Wyoming and Montana’s energy industry.
The Washington Department of Ecology denied a permit for a coal export terminal in 2017, an export terminal that Wyoming and Montana say would benefit their mineral-producing industries.
“The terminal was reportedly used to export coal mined from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to Asian markets, and estimates conclude that the terminal could ship up to 44 million tonnes of coal annually,” said Cheney’s office said in a statement. press release Tuesday.
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Wyoming and Montana have filed a lawsuit against Washington state, and Gov. Mark Gordon’s office said Monday the two states have filed a response to the U.S. solicitor general in the matter. In this case, Wyoming and Montana argue that Washington’s actions discriminate against coal-rich states and that only the United States 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, saying the case is moot due to the bankruptcy of the parent company of Millennium Bulk Terminals.
“This case should not be dismissed and the Biden administration is wrong to ignore the important constitutional questions it raises,” Cheney said. “It is a violation of the commerce clause for one state to undermine the economic activity of another state, and that is exactly what Governor Inslee is doing by attempting to deny a permit at a terminal to export coal. of the Powder River Basin ”.
“This is an important project that must be allowed to move forward. Washington’s political objection – which is rooted in their radical environmental beliefs rather than in fact – is no excuse to ignore the law and undermine the rights of Wyoming and our state’s energy producers.
Gordon’s office said Monday that Wyoming and Montana’s response to the solicitor general’s argument indicates their interests go beyond being a single developer interested in building a coal export terminal. .
“Washington’s discriminatory policies will continue to block development of the coal port and deter other developers from taking over the project even if it is otherwise economically viable,” Gordon’s office said.
Wyoming and Montana claim both states have “an abundance of cleaner, lower sulfur coal, and overseas markets want it.”
“The Longview terminal remains an ideal site for exporting this coal to Asia and other foreign markets,” said the response to the solicitor general. “And Montana and Wyoming still have no other export option other than an already overcrowded Canadian port.”
Gordon added in the statement: “As I have said on several occasions, this case concerns the important constitutional issue of the actions of one state preventing another state from engaging in interstate commerce. It’s not just about a developer or an industry – it’s about Washington’s unconstitutional and inappropriate use of politics to stifle commerce in another state.
Wyoming and Montana’s full response to the Solicitor General can be viewed online.