CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Today Wyoming filed a Petition to Participate as a Party with the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings for the Coyote Island Terminal coal port contested case. The Oregon Department of Land denied Coyote Island Terminal, LLC a permit to place standard concrete pilings in the Columbia River at the Port of Morrow. That decision shut down the possibility of building a coal terminal.
The petition asserts Wyoming should be made a party to the contested case because it has significant interests in the outcome. Those interests include loss of revenue and jobs for the State of Wyoming and its citizens.
“This decision by the Oregon Department of Lands to deny the permit to complete this terminal is a barrier to getting Wyoming coal to foreign markets,” Governor Mead said. “Wyoming would lose out on coal tax revenues of $9 to $30 million per year. Revenue from coal funds public programs such as schools and infrastructure. A strong coal industry means thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Coal is vital here and Wyoming must assure it has a long future.”
Wyoming argues the State of Oregon cannot disrupt interstate and foreign commerce to the disadvantage of Wyoming and other landlocked states.
“The Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution prohibits Oregon from stopping the flow of a commodity in interstate and foreign commerce, and federal law preempts Oregon's ability to regulate this kind of docking structure,” Governor Mead said.
If granted party status, Wyoming intends to fully participate and present information showing that the Oregon Department of State Lands decision was legally and factually wrong.