The sponsor of a bill that would have allowed the Wyoming Legislature to sue the state of Washington over coal exports is not happy about a gubernatorial veto of the bill.

Governor Mark Gordon on Friday vetoed the bills, saying it's important for Wyoming to "speak with one voice" on any legal action over coal exports. Wyoming wants to be able to export coal to Asian nations in the wake of declining domestic demand for the product. You can read a letter from the governor explaining his veto here.

The most obvious expert terminal for coal to Asia would be from the west coast of the United States, but Washington has so far resisted placing an export terminal in that state on environmental grounds.

Rep Chuck Gray [R-Natrona County], who sponsored the bill in the 2019 Wyoming Legislature, released a statement on the veto which includes the following comments:

“The veto is detrimental to efforts to protect the coal industry from a radical Leftist political ideology that seeks to put it out of business by any means necessary,” the bill’s lead sponsor Chuck Gray said. “Just Phase 1 of the Millennium Coal Export Terminal would create thousands of jobs, and the state of Washington is stopping it from being built with unconstitutional actions. It’s going to take a team effort between the Executive and Legislative branches for there to be success on this issue. This bill created a framework for this team effort to occur, so that we have the best chance for success on this issue. The veto is detrimental to that effort,” Gray said.

Gray says he plans to continue working on the issue in the 2020 Wyoming Legislature