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Washington challenged over Millennium bulk terminal construction permits

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Dry Bulk,

The National Mining Association (NMA) today filed an amicus brief supporting Lighthouse Resources, Inc.’s challenge to the State of Washington’s denial of permits required to build the Millennium bulk terminal. Lighthouse’s suit charges that efforts by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and members of his administration to block coal mined in Wyoming, Montana and other western states from being exported through a terminal in Washington state, is in violation of the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause and other federal statutes.

“Washington state’s actions are an illegal effort to interfere and obstruct interstate and foreign commerce of an essential energy commodity, in violation of the commerce clause,” said Hal Quinn, NMA President and CEO. “If states are ultimately given a veto over commodities that can be traded from the US it would open the floodgates for states located at strategic export locations to disrupt national and international trade policies.”

NMA’s brief highlights how the state of Washington has overstepped its constitutional authority, attempting to impose its anti-coal agenda on national foreign policy – policy that can be set by the federal government alone.

It was precisely to prevent […] intrastate meddling in foreign trade policy that the Framers of the Constitution saw fit to allocate exclusive authority over international trade and foreign policy to the federal government. Washington’s conduct in this case is inconsistent with that constitutional framework. In this case, it is coal; in the next case, it could be agriculture or manufactured goods.

Joining NMA as amici curiae in support of plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction are the National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.

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