Wyoming Governor welcomes “encouraging” development in coal export case
CASPER, WYO. (AP) — THE U.S. Supreme Court has invited the acting solicitor general to weigh in on a request by Wyoming and Montana for the court to rule on a dispute over a proposed Pacific Northwest coal export terminal.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, welcomed the news Monday, saying the request for the federal government’s position in the dispute was an “encouraging” sign the high court might yet rule on the case filed in January.
The Western coal-mining states want to be able to export more coal overseas to offset a steep decline in U.S. demand for coal to fire power plants. Natural gas and renewable energy sources have become a cleaner and cheaper alternative to the fossil fuel in recent years.
Montana and Wyoming officials object to Washington state’s rejection of an environmental permit for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminal along the Columbia River, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
The dock would cause “unavoidable and significant adverse environmental impacts,” Washington officials have said in court documents.
The permit rejection violates the Constitution by inhibiting export of a commodity, and was a political decision, counter Wyoming and Montana officials.
Wyoming and Montana bypassed lower courts by asking the Supreme Court to rule. The high court has not yet decided whether it will accept the case.