Jay Inslee’s Department of Ecology has been channeling his extreme environmental views since he took over last year, from claiming the ability to unilaterally impose Inslee’s carbon tax scheme to trying to stop the permitting of commodity export facilities in Washington State.
The recent claim by Ecology Director Maia Bellon that she gets to pick and choose when to use the environmental impact statement regulatory process to achieve the Inslee administration’s partisan political objectives is drawing attention – and potential lawsuits – from other states.
The editorial board of Wyoming’s Star-Tribune weighed in this week on the hypocrisy of Ecology’s position. As the paper noted, Ecology’s newly-defined case-by-case approach to enforcing environmental regulations is just “a cynical, hypocritical way to kill the export terminal plans.”
The problem with Ecology’s approach is it may run afoul of the federal Commerce Clause, since the shipping of coal from Wyoming (or Montana) to Washington is protected inter-state commerce. A federal judge may take a dim view of Washington State claiming it can stop of the exporting of products it doesn’t like for political reasons – on a case-by-case basis, of course.