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Coal Terminal Fight

Wyoming & Montana have challenged Washington State's rejection of a proposed coal export terminal as unconstitutional.

Wyoming has submitted its Reply Brief to the United States Supreme Court in its challenge to Washington State’s discrimination against a proposed coal export terminal. The 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. Wyoming and Montana have argued that the denial violates both the Commerce Clause and the Foreign Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. 

“This discriminatory action by another state limits our ability to ship low-sulfur coal to buyers overseas,” Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said. “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,” Gordon added. 

The Reply Brief cites case law supporting Wyoming’s view 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 Supreme Court now has the filings necessary to determine whether to proceed with 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,” Governor Gordon said.

Wyoming and Montana’s Reply Brief is attached.


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