Former Washington Attorney General Ken Eikenberry recently wrote an op-ed in the Everett Herald criticizing state leadership for broadly overstepping the bounds of their authority in regards to the unconstitutional use of a “regulatory wall” to block the Millennium Bulk Terminals export project.
Eikenberry is not the state’s only former top law enforcement official to weigh in on the matter. Former Attorney General Rob McKenna also rebuked the state’s actions, describing them in an op-ed in The Olympian late last year as an “abuse of the regulatory process” and an “affront to our democracy”.
Eikenberry wrote that Gov. Jay Inslee “placed his political ideology above national policy and law” in continuing to block the Millennium project. The former attorney general added that Inslee and his administrators “have consistently pursued their anti-coal ideology at the expense of their obligation to uphold the rule of law.”
While Eikenberry and McKenna may be top legal experts, Eikenberry noted, “It doesn’t take a legal scholar to recognize this as a violation of the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause.”
The state has attempted to advance its political agenda with what both attorney generals have called “agency activism.” Despite the governor’s best efforts, Eikenberry wrote that “strained logic and stretched jurisdiction” have dominated the administration’s explanations.
Eikenberry declared that Inslee and his agencies “must put the facts — not politics — back in the driver’s seat.” The people of Washington deserve at least that. It’s unfortunate that it requires stating.