Six States Join Lawsuit in Support of Millennium Bulk Terminals

Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Kansas and Nebraska the latest to join case against Washington state

OLYMPIA — Six states filed a joint amicus brief in U.S. federal court today in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, adding to a growing list of legal supporters for the export terminal project.

The group of states — including Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Kansas and Nebraska — assert the State of Washington is violating the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by politicizing the regulatory process and denying project permits solely because the exported commodity is coal.

“The Defendants have a long-documented public opposition to fossil fuels, and coal in particular. Since the Defendants’ ascension to their current positions, Washington State agencies have denied every necessary permit for the Terminal Facility,” note the states in the brief.

“The Defendants are trying to force on other states their policy preferences regarding the use of coal as a source of fuel, and thus, they are impeding the free flow of commerce. Today it is coal, tomorrow it could be natural gas or non-organic produce. The interests of the interior states in developing foreign trade are not subject to the barriers erected by the policy whims of states that control access to international markets through their ports.”

Last Friday, four major trade associations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the National Mining Association also filed an amicus brief in the case.

Millennium Bulk Terminals is now more than six years into the regulatory permitting process for its proposed facility in Longview. Keep Washington Competitive members, ranging from business and trade groups to labor and agriculture, continue to advocate for Millennium and for a more timely and reliable regulatory system.