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However, opponents of the lawsuit, including the attorney general, say that argument was dashed when the terminal’s developer, Lighthouse Resources, filed for bankruptcy in December. Even if the Supreme Court sided with Wyoming and Montana and forced Washington to approve the permits, the port would not be built because its developer no longer exists.
“It’s symbolic of the end of an era,” said Jan Hasselman, a senior lawyer at Earthjustice, “and that era was a decade of trying to save a dying industry by building an export market. There were many reasons why these efforts were doomed. And I think the Supreme Court decision is a symbolic final nail in the coffin of this effort. As if it were over today, but now it is really over. “
Lighthouse Resources sued Washington State for several denied permits prior to bankruptcy. These lawsuits were either won or dismissed by the state when Lighthouse went down.
Shortly after the bankruptcy announcement, Wyoming and Montana filed for a Supreme Court hearing on the grounds that Washington State was violating their rights to trade between states.
Plaintiffs had hoped the Supreme Court would be more willing to hear their case under the previous administration, but former President Donald Trump’s attorney general never interfered in the case. Prelogars was the only assignment the court received from an attorney general – an influential opinion when it comes to taking lawsuits.