Wyoming governor considers suing state over terminal

Some Wyoming lawmakers say Washington’s legal decision discriminates against interstate commerce.

Associated Press

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s governor says he continues to consider a possible lawsuit against Washington state over construction of the largest coal export terminal on the West Coast.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported that Republican Gov. Mark Gordon says he has asked Attorney General Bridget Hill to give him options regarding the Millennium Bulk Terminal.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources cited environmental grounds in denying a construction lease for the terminal on the Columbia River in Longview, Washington.

Wyoming industry groups and lawmakers say the completed terminal could ship coal produced in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to international markets.

Officials say Wyoming could transport an estimated 16 trains of coal to the terminal daily.

Officials say the terminal would be closer than the Westshore Terminals further north in Canada and ultimately decrease transportation costs.

Some Wyoming lawmakers say Washington’s legal decision discriminates against interstate commerce.

Gordon vetoed a bill put forth earlier this year by lawmakers that would have given the Legislature standing to sue Washington, saying he preferred the state to have a single voice representing the state on the issue.

Republican Rep. Chuck Gray, who sponsored the bill, says a state-to-state lawsuit would be more effective than one from a private attorney hired by the state.

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