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Oregon rejects Wyoming’s appeal in support of coal terminal

World Coal,

The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) has denied the state of Wyoming’s appeal of the denial of a permit for a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River.

The state of Wyoming had come out in support of Ambre Energy’s proposed coal terminal project, following the rejection of a construction permit by the state of Oregon.

The state of Oregon had ruled the coal terminal would adversely affect local native fisheries.

Wyoming officials claimed that the denial of the permit broke an interstate commerce clause.

“The department’s decision has harmed and degraded the state’s important and legally protectable revenue streams,” Wyoming’s appeal states.

However, the Oregon DSL said Wyoming did not have legal standing on the permit decision, because it failed to provide comments on the coal terminal proposal during the comment period.

“Wyoming has failed to establish that it is ‘aggrieved or adversely affected,’ as defined in (Oregon law), by the department’s denial of the applicant’s permit application,” the DSL said in its findings.

News that Wyoming’s appeal has been rejected will come as a further blow to Ambre Energy. The company has insisted the proposed project would protect the environment while supporting the economy.

“We designed the project to protect the environment while supporting the economy,” said John Thomas, vice president of legal, Ambre Energy. “We’ve done that, and we will prove that again through the appeals process.”

The Morrow Pacific project would bring an estimated 8.8 million tpa of coal mined in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin by rail to Boardman. From there the coal would be loaded onto barges and shipped downriver to Port Westward in Clatskanie. The coal would then be loaded into ocean going vessels bound for southeast Asia. 

Edited by Sam Dodson

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