Wyoming lawmakers seek bigger role in coal-export litigation

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are expressing frustration their state isn’t being more aggressive with legal action against the state of Washington over coal exports.

The Wyoming House Judiciary Committee voted 7-2 Tuesday to advance a bill that would allow Wyoming’s legislative branch to sue Washington for denying a permit for a proposed Pacific Ocean coal-shipping terminal.

Wyoming and five other states are filing friend-of-the-court briefs siding with the developer of a proposed shipping facility at Longview, Washington. Republican Wyoming state Rep. Clark Stith says suing Washington outright could be more effective.

Wyoming is the top coal-producing state. Wyoming officials hope that more exports could offset declining domestic demand for the power-generating fuel.

Wyoming’s new Republican governor, Mark Gordon, has said that challenging Washington over coal exports will be a priority.