Wyoming and Montana Defend Commerce in Coal Port Lawsuit
June 7, 2021
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming and Montana have filed their response to the federal Solicitor General of the United States in their coal port original action case. Governor Gordon directed Wyoming to challenge policies in Washington State to defend Wyoming’s sovereignty. The two states argue that the State of Washington’s discriminatory policies against the coal industry are continuing, and only the Supreme Court of the United States can grant relief to the states.
“The Court should exercise its original jurisdiction and allow Montana and Wyoming to vindicate their sovereign interests,” the response states. The Court should not dismiss Wyoming and Montana’s complaint “simply because Washington’s discriminatory policies successfully bankrupted the most recent developer.”
On May 26, the Solicitor General submitted a brief in the case arguing that the case is moot due to the bankruptcy of Millennium Bulk Terminals' parent company. In response, Wyoming and Montana explain that their interests in the case go beyond a single developer. 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.
The States explained in their response, “Montana and Wyoming still 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. And Montana and Wyoming still have no other export option, besides an already overburdened Canadian Port.”
“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,” Governor Gordon said. “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.”
A copy of the states’ response can be found here.