WASHINGTON, D.C.- Republican Sens. Steve Daines and John Barrasso are reintroducing legislation to move forward a stalled Washington state port that would handle Montana and Wyoming coal.
The bill aims to amend a section of the Clean Water Act, which would limit regulators’ review of projects. The Washington state Department of Natural Resources cited this law in denying a permit for the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal dock in Longview, Wash., in 2017.
In the words of Daines and Barrasso, their bill would prevent the Clean Water Act from being “used as a weapon” to block coal exports.
“This bill will ensure that the energy market in Montana reaches its full potential by streamlining regulations that have been abused by activist bureaucrats and killed Montana jobs. It will spur high paying jobs in Montana, empower our Tribes and strengthen our nation’s standing as a world economic superpower,” Daines of Montana said in a news release.
If this legislation sounds familiar, it’s because it’s similar to another bill Daines and Barrasso of Wyoming introduced last summer. That effort stalled after a committee hearing.
Developers of the Millennium terminal hope to export 44 million tons of Powder River coal to markets in Asia through the Columbia River port. The port was first proposed in 2012 and has fought regulatory hurdles, changing fortunes of coal and financial struggles of its owners.
Most recently, a federal judge tossed out an argument from Millennium parent company, Lighthouse Resources, that Washington regulators improperly meddled in foreign affairs in denying the permit, according to Reuters.