This article examines the potential constitutional law issues involved in local review of the proposed coal terminals. It explores these issues in the specific context of Whatcom County's review of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Part II provides a brief overview of the history of the Gateway Pacific terminal. Part III explores issues associated with the facility under the dormant Commerce Clause. Finally, this article concludes that there are few serious issues associated with Whatcom County's review of the proposal that would violate the dormant Commerce Clause. Moreover, Whatcom County will have a great deal of authority to approve or deny the Gateway Pacific Terminal, and it faces few threats of violating the dormant Commerce Clause. While proponents of the new coal terminal appear to be gearing up for a fight of constitutional proportions, their bark is likely worse than their bite.
Henry W. McGee et al.,
Coal and Commerce: Local Review of the Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal, 4 SEATTLE J. ENVTL. L. 283