A Utah-based mining company has sued Washington state on constitutional grounds after the firm, Lighthouse Resources, was denied the chance to expand a coal export terminal.
Lighthouse wanted to expand its terminal on the Columbia River at Longview, Washington, so that it could accommodate two bulk carriers per day and 44 million tons of coal per year.
The envisaged Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview project would export coal mined in western US states Wyoming and Montana to Japan, South Korea and other markets in Asia.
But Lighthouse’s plans were stymied when the state denied it a key water quality permit.
Lighthouse’s case, brought in federal court in Tacoma, claims that the state violated America’s Commerce Clause, which prohibits states from regulating interstate and international trade. Those powers are reserved to Congress, it claims.