WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the Biden Administration supported the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Millennium Bulk Terminals that sought to prevent Washington and Governor Jay Inslee from undermining the energy industry.
In response to this, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued the following statement.
“This case should not be dismissed and the Biden Administration is wrong to ignore the important constitutional questions that it raises,” Cheney said.
“It’s a violation of the Commerce Clause for one state to undermine another state’s economic activity, and that’s exactly what Governor Inslee is doing by attempting to deny a permit for a terminal to export Powder River Basin coal.”
For context, in 2017 the state of Washington’s Department of Ecology denied a permit for a coal export terminal to Millennium Bulk Terminals which was expected to export coal mined at Powder River Basin in Wyoming to Markets in Asia. The terminal was estimated to ship out up to 44 million metric tons of coal per year.
In response to the denial of this permit, Wyoming joined Montana in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and determine if Washington was in violation of the Dormant Commerce Clause and Foreign Commerce Closure of the U.S. Constitution.
However, the Biden Administration recently called on the case to be dismissed because Millennium Bulk Terminals filed for bankruptcy.
Today, Cheney argued that the dismissal of a lawsuit as such is an indication of the current administration’s inability to represent both sides of the political spectrum.
“This is an important project that must be allowed to move forward. Washington’s policy objection- which is rooted in their radical environmental beliefs rather than the facts- is not an excuse for ignoring the law and infringing on the rights of Wyoming and our state’s energy producers.”