Support for Millennium in its Lawsuit Gains Momentum

An increasing number of states, unions, trade associations, and businesses continue to join the lawsuit against the Inslee administration over its political pushback on Millennium Bulk Terminals.

The most recent action comes from a joint amicus brief filed in U.S. Federal Court by the states of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Kansas, and Nebraska. The six states intervened on behalf of Millennium Bulk Terminals over their concern that Washington’s permit denials have violated multiple federal laws and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The states indicated that the federal case is only in its early stages, and that they will file additional briefs as it unfolds in order to correct Washington’s illegal actions.

The Millennium export terminals would benefit the economies of these states, but as Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said, “Politicians in Washington state have again demonstrated their willingness to hold coal states hostage.” He added that he is “working to ensure hard working Montanans are treated fairly under the law.”

The decision by the six states to intervene in the case follows another amicus brief filing on May 3rd by the National Association of Manufacturers, National Mining Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

Washington’s regulatory block on Millennium affects industries, companies, and states far and wide — as the long list of new legal parties demonstrates. The National Association of Manufacturers, the largest manufacturing association in the United States, made that exact point in a statement.

“At seemingly every point in the decision-making process for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, Washington state regulators have distorted the law to achieve their political goal of killing this job-creating project,” the statement read. “Washington state’s reckless disregard for the rule of law directly impedes interstate commerce and the free trade of goods and services, which will have serious consequences for manufacturing workers—and sets a dangerous precedent for desperately needed infrastructure projects across the country.”

Washington’s arbitrary permit denials harm more than just Millennium Bulk Terminals: they also impede interstate commerce across the United States and global commerce with our trade partners overseas. For a state like Washington, where trade is the largest economic driver, these policy decisions stand to have troubling long-term implications.