Interior States Take on Coastal States over Climate-Related Project Approvals

When the state of Washington rejected a proposed new coal export facility in 2017, it probably expected the usual appeals from the project’s developers. But it may not have anticipated a constitutional battle supported by eight interior states under the Commerce Clause.

The proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility would be located in Washington state along the Columbia River, and it would have sent Wyoming and Montana coal on its way across the Pacific to buyers in Asia. But under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act, such projects require approval by impacted states, which Washington denied.

The state made little effort to conceal the fact that it was more concerned about the commodity the proposed facility would have been exporting rather than any legitimate water quality issues, and indeed Washington Governor Jay Inslee has since announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination and has made climate change his top campaign issue.

Now, the project’s developers, Lighthouse Resources, are challenging this decision on Commerce Clause grounds. The Commerce Clause gives Congress the authority to regulate commerce among the states and has been interpreted to limit states from taking actions that would discriminate against another state’s commerce.
Interior states are dependent on coastal states for their ports enabling access to global markets. Wyoming, Montana, and several other coal-producing states argue in an amicus brief that Washington’s rejection of this coal export facility prevents them from selling a lawful product globally and thus is unconstitutional.

Interestingly, Nebraska and Kansas have also joined in the brief even though they have a lot more agriculture than coal. Both raise the concern that if coastal states are not prevented under the Constitution from blocking exports of coal, it is a relatively short jump to allowing them to do the same for other politically-incorrect goods, such as GMO crops or even non-organic produce.

Reposted from the Competitive Enterprise Institute

HT/David B

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90 thoughts on “Interior States Take on Coastal States over Climate-Related Project Approvals

  1. GMO, non-organic, or meat. Todays’s politics is so heavily polarized over everything by activists funded by billionaires, that it is easier to export weed than coal.

    I wish them luck.

  2. From what I know of constitutional law on this issue, if the Federal government steps in, the states lose. However, given the antics of the Ninth Circuit, they would probably rule that the Clean Water Act rules, even if there was no actual water pollution in Washington.

      • Oh, the precedents are clear back to Gibbons v. Ogden, and Washington will lose on appeal. But they will try to drag it out until a Democrat is back in the White House.

        • I think the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in claims between States. But it has been almost sixty years since I took ConLaw.

        • I think the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in claims between States. But it has been almost sixty years since I took ConLaw.

        • From Article 3 Section 2 of the US Constitution:

          In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

          • Haven’t numerous States (NY in particular) been a Party to all sorts of lawsuits lately?

            WRT to the cited section, I’m confused as to why NY going after Exxon didn’t start at supreme court.

          • Your going to have to ask a lawyer to explain that. Probably has to do with the part that says, “… with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” It would be interesting if ristvan would weigh in.

          • DJ, but the corporations and individuals are not the complainants, the states are, and they have a vested interest in the outcome (e.g., tax revenues coming from those individuals and corporations).

            If the lower courts want to save a lot of time, money, and effort, they will simply rule that the proper venue is the Supreme Court, since it will end up there anyway.

          • jtom;

            The Justia article makes it clear that the states can’t add individuals to the suit or bring suit on their behalf, inasmuch as inferred tax or other revenues are second order effects. It has to be about the direct sovereign interests of the state.

            In any event, it will be interesting to see what develops.

    • From my research, “Under the Constitution, states with legal complaints against other states have a right to sue them in the Supreme Court without first going through a lower court, but they need the Justices’ permission to do so. ”

      Taken from a SCOTUSBlog post made in Dec. 2014. That echoes what I had been told many moons ago.

      • Yes. There is a difference between “original jurisdiction,” which is the power of a Court to take up a case in the first instance if it decides to do so – and “exclusive original jurisdiction,” which is the requirement that a case be taken up by a specific Court.

        SCOTUS can take up cases in the first instance in the situations outlined in Article III – but is not required to do so; their original jurisdiction is not exclusive. Anything else, they can only take up an appeal, as the District Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction. (The Circuit Court can be bypassed in the appeals process, if SCOTUS so decides – but that is a rare thing indeed.)

    • This will go to SCOTUS, and it is clear that only Congress can regulate interstate commerce, as well as international commerce, which this decision by the State Washington clearly impacts both interstate and international commerce. The decision will be overturned.

      • the enlargement will be that congress delegated, to the (individual) States, the ability to manage this type of stuff

  3. It’s about time there was push back on this injustice by liberal states with ports on federal waterway systems.

    • This is hypocricy on steroids. Washington prevents coal export from interior U.S. States and at the same time, welcomes a continuous flow of container ships full of goods produced in coal-powered factories from overseas. As long as the coal is burned out-of-sight, it’s not a problem. I guess they believe there is good coal and bad coal.

      • Farmer Ch E

        And in the same vein, what about products made in a country with dirty water? After all, it is water pollution they are concerned about. There is little point in blocking commerce through the state on the basis that is might pollute the water, and then to allow transport of goods that were made in, from and carried over dirty water. This is an international effort, right? Let’s set the priorities fairly and equally.

  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/commerce-clause

    “….In the matter of regulating commerce with foreign nations, the supremacy as well as the exclusivity of the federal government is generally understood. From time to time state or local authorities have attempted to deal in foreign policy matters considered exclusively the province of the federal government, but their efforts have invariably been struck down by the courts. Although the states do have some limited powers to tax foreign commerce, it may generally be said that in dealings with foreign states, the federal government is the sole agent of all the people of the United States..”

    This has been something I’ve been wondering about for some time now, and I have been wondering when it would finally find it’s way to a court to be constitutionally challenged. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that exporting coal from interior states to Asia is a water quality issue in Washington state. In fact, I think it is a BIG stretch.

    So this a matter of what has precedence here, the Clean Water Act or the Interstate Commerce clause. Should be very interesting to watch, and it would not surprise me at all to the the Interstate Commerce clause take precedence. But that is just my guess.

    • Your reply documenting the Interstate Commerce clause will be very interesting to watch as you stated. Thank you for this.

    • Dormant commerce clause. Generally case law precedent works against the land locked states unless tgey can show exceptional burden in Washington decision.

  5. I live in the rural, low population county where the terminal is proposed. It’s a local volatile health concern issue round here..more about coal dust air polution and coal pile fire catastrophe possible potentials across the street from a neighborhood of family homes.

    • To Pa Wi
      Can you document a coal pile fire catastrophe across the street from a neighborhood family or family homes or from a coal fire catastrophe in any neighborhood? Plenty of family home fires catastrophe fires, just look at the recent wild fires in California. However not a single one available from a pile of coal in any neighborhood that I know about. But maybe you know. Tell us about at least one.

      • I didnt state my opinion about the controversy Why do I need to document a thing for you or anyone? I stated the local controversy is not about Clean Water..that is the Governor’s legal pretext. Don’t mistakingly attribute my reporting of others opinion as as my opinion. I live 20 miles away from the town the coal thing is proposed for.

    • Pa Wi, your concerns are valid but I recommend you do your research on it. I live near the Mississippi river, which to this day is still a major coal transportation artery. None of the towns along its banks have coal-related air pollution issues, and I have never heard of a coal pile fire catastrophe happening either because of the barge traffic or because of piles.

      I would not be dismissive of such a potential economic benefit. Nevertheless, I recommend you ask your local officials and Millennium some questions. (1) How will the coal be stored? Enclosed facilities are safer than open-air storage facilities. Are they building completely enclosed storage facilities? (2) How will the storage facilities prevent spontaneous combustion? (3) Will the coal be monitored for dangerous conditions like methane build-up and rising temperatures? These are precursors to spontaneous combustion. (4) How will the facilities stop coal dust from polluting the air? (5) What training will operators receive and what continuous training will they receive? Most accidents can be avoided by good training.

      • Coal fired power plants typically keep a 30 day supply of coal stockpiled. The coal is not covered. Bulldozers move it around. There is no coal dust contaminating the air. The coal does not catch on fire. So, what exactly are “…coal pile fire catastrophe possible potentials…” ? Fearmongering?

        • Spontaneous combustion in coal piles is a common phenomenon. Catastrophic, not so much.

          • When I went to college in Nashville, circa 1975, there was a central plant that supplied steam to the campus.

            It had a coal pile that smoldered all winter long.

      • I live in the same county as Pa Wi and I am aware of the coal terminal ‘controversy’. In my judgement the anti-anything crowd that is currently getting the news coverage is simply going on the premise that coal is bad. Period. No reason necessary, it is just bad. Must not be allowed – BAD. Awful stuff, nasty dust that must be bad (ever hear of a coal dust explosion in a mine? BAD!). Probably can happen in a coal car too – bad. Might cause health risks if it got within a quarter mile of a school – bad. [I actually added that last one – they didn’t think of it yet]

      • I didnt state my opinion. I live 20 miles north, not in the city involved. I reported what is being said by people across the way from location during the local city meetings The local..in that neighborhood versus others controversy is NOT about Clean Water..

      • I never said the concerns were mine. I said the local controversy is not about Clean Water..but two other possible neighbors impacts. I dont live in the town or nearby. The Governor created a legal pretext having nothing to do with the concerns, right or wrong, being voiced by the nearby residents

    • I, too, lived near the Mississippi river for fourteen years in Baton Rouge. That city is the point at which Panamax ships can no longer continue upstream, and cargo must be transferred to and from barges for upstream ports. It is the tenth largest port in the country.

      Last I saw, twenty percent of the nation’s coal travels on the Mississippi. I can find no record of such fires.

      Now if you are worried about evco-terrorists starting the fires, that’s another subject. Of course, eco-terrorists can, and have, destroyed many legal endeavors, including homes under construction. The solution is not to ban legal activities, but to arrest and imprison the eco-terrorists. After all, they could easily decide to rid your area of bird-slicing wind turbines, and environmentally devastating solar farms. Then what?

    • I offered no opinion in the controversy..simply stating that the closely residents generating controversy is less focused on Clean Water and instead is on fire or coal dust..The Governors minions are not crying about coal dust or pile fires. I am absolutely not a fan of Inslee.

  6. Why are we selling coal?? We should use it ourselves and save it for the future, only mine what we need, no more.

    • By that logic, we should ban all exports.

      The smart thing to do is to make money today, invest the money, and be even wealthier in the future.

      • Norway.

        The wealthiest Sovereign state in the world did something similar.

        Extracted oil from the North Sea and sold it. Invested the money and as far as I can gather the whole country could retire on the dividends, forever. Small population, lots of Oil helps the balance of wealth but still, they were smart enough to become one of the biggest single investors in the stock market.

      • The chance is slim, but non-zero, that in the next 30 years nuclear will take off, and we won’t have any need to burn coal to produce electricity.
        If that happens, the coal remaining in the ground becomes worthless.
        You passed up a chance to make money, and got nothing for it.

        • Nuclear power sure would take off a lot faster if we stopped regulating and eco-terrorizing it to death!

    • You can lay the blame for that on Obama’s doorstep. If not for him and his EPA fascists, we would be using much more coal than we are now. True, natural gas has also made inroads, but the anti-fossil fuel eco-fascists have even stopped NG pipelines from being built. We’re supposed to be using unicorn farts and pixie dust.

    • Its called a Free Market – the producers can sell to the highest bidders regardless of where they are at. We have more coal than we are ever going to use – like a 500 year supply or more. In 100 years it will just sit in the ground as we will not be using it.

  7. This is something that’s been needing to happen for a while – there’s a flat conspiracy case to be made – particularly along the west coast – against all three state legislatures AND their governors.

  8. To Pa Wi
    Can you document a coal pile fire catastrophe across the street from a neighborhood family or family homes or from a coal fire catastrophe in any neighborhood? Plenty of family home fires catastrophe fires, just look at the recent wild fires in California. However not a single one available from a pile of coal in any neighborhood that I know about. But maybe you know. Tell us about at least one.

    • Read Pa Wi carefully. There are hints and clues as to what is going on.
      First this “volatile health concern issue”, OK so they are trotting out that old pollution/health issue. Next up, there is this “coal pile fire catastrophe possible potentials”. Note that they are not worried about a coal fire. No, this is far worse. This is Catastrophe Possible Potentials, and we all know how bad those are. Think this is silly? Read on.

      Case Study:
      The issue was a new LNG facility in the metro Boston area. There was no reason to oppose the plan because the metro area already has a LNG facility in Everett, just outside the city. That facility has been there since forever and there has never been a problem. Certainly, Boston needed to expand its’ natural gas supply. Nonetheless, it was seen as politically advantageous to fight against the evil Fossil Fuels.
      What to do?
      A Terror Campaign:
      A crazy scenario was cooked up whereby to following would happen –
      1) There is a gas leak at the facility.
      2) The vapors will collect and form an explosive cloud.
      3) This cloud will travel against the prevailing winds across half the state to the city of Worcester.
      4) There, the cloud would detonate with the blast equivalent to a large nuclear bomb.
      5) The city would be utterly destroyed.

      Now you would thin this is absurd, and the scenario is not even bad science fiction. (Shades of that old Sci. Fi. classic “The Blob”)
      This scenario was flogged relentlessly in the media. TV news ran stories on it repeatedly. Newspapers ran news articles on it. Editorials and TV talking heads railed endlessly about the threat to the children. Worse, this scenario was presented as not just possible, but most likely, and nearly certain. If that facility is built, you will all die in a nuclear holocaust.

      Ultimately, the City of Worcester held a “Town Hall” style meeting to get the “Facts” out. It would not be overly dramatic to say that the atmosphere was one of panic and hysteria. The men were stressed and fearful, the women weeping, and small children wailing. It all worked.
      Shortly after the “Town Hall” meeting, the govt. voted on the issue.
      The LNG facility was shot down by an overwhelming margin.

      I gave up all hope for the common sense or intelligence of the voters.
      So now you see the political utility of a “coal pile fire catastrophe possible potentials”.

      • No wonder the suicide rates in Washington are through the roof. The people are whipped up into a constant state of anxiety, fear, and alarm by charlatans hoping to live off their fear-mongering. I feel sorry for the sheeple in WA.

      • I did not share my opinion..I reported the controversy locally is not about Cleam Water..it is about nearby residents concerned about health effects nearby the proposed location. I live 20 miles out of the town. I have no skin in the local controversy..

  9. dog in the man·ger
    /ˌdôɡ in T͟Hə ˈmānjər/Submit
    noun
    a person who has no need of, or ability to use, a possession that would be of use or value to others, but who prevents others from having it.
    “what a dog in the manger you must be!”

  10. When Texas and Florida go blue the red states will be nearly landlocked. But the red states grow all the food

    • If Texas goes Blue it would mean the urban centers have taken control and quashed any dissent from the suburbs and rural locales. There are a lot of rural locales in Texas. Pretty soon after that, The US Civil War 21st Century version would begin.
      But seriously, I think the Democrats count too heavily on the Hispanic vote. As the Democrats push ever Left-ward towards socialism, there are many from Mexico who understand what socialism does to nation. Plus many Mexican-Americans in Texas are prospering under Texas’s booming oil economy. Why would they want to endanger that by handing over the control of their State to a bunch of East and West Coast Liberals?

      • I agree. The Dems shouldn’t count on the Latino vote. They used to count on the votes of the working people. They thought the workers wouldn’t vote Republican under any conditions. Their mantra was, “they would be voting against their interest.” They betrayed working Americans and President Trump was able to win the votes of the “forgotten people”. Similarly, the Latino community may prove to be conservative at heart.

        For decades, the Canadian Liberal Party was able to count on immigrant support. No more. Immigrants are basically conservative and the Liberals began to support policies that rubbed them the wrong way.

        This story posits that American politics have changed. That could well be true.

        The Dems have comforted themselves that all the old grouchy white male Republican supporters will die off, leaving the field to the Dems. Surprise! Something else appears to be happening. LOL The Dems keep on being wrong.

      • I think the Democrats count too heavily on the Hispanic vote.

        But not as you think. Hispanic non-citizens allegedly can not vote, but their mere existence counts in apportionment and subsequently drawing up congressional districts. Those districts use the non-citizens to “bulk up” those districts that are reliably Leftist so that those who can legally vote vote not only for themselves, but for their non-citizen neighbor. If a district has 30% of non eligible voters, then the voters who do show up have 1.3 votes per ballot.

        • I would hope that a more conservative Supreme Court would rule that that violates the one-man-one-vote doctrine inherent in the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

          • They are also discussing changes that would allow them to disenfranchise their own citizens by directing the electors to vote for the winner of the nation wide majority vote regardless of what their own state citizens did. All the dems need to do under that scenario is do a lot of voter fraud in California, Illinois and New York and they’ll be the majority party for ever.

  11. It is hypocritical of Washington to be shutting down their one remaining coal plant for no valid reason and approving a coal export terminal Yes I know coal puts out all kinds of emissions that are harmful to health. That is why I developed a process to safely and economically sequester the flue gas from any coal fired power plant deep underground. If Washington shuts down their last coal fried power plnat it wiilll be just like germany, the Utility prices will go up linearly with eethe amont of soar and wind power employed until you are pying California Utility rates or even higher. Instea dof doing that make the Canadian owen of that plnat ast least consider the ZECCOM™¹ (Zero Emissions Coal Combustion) Process. IT is at least an order of magnitude cheaoer than shutting down a coal fired power plant and building equivalent production form solar or wind farms. If I ever get back into Canada I will go over and say hi to them and ask them why they haven’t considered the ZECCOM™¹ Process. If the E-mail below stos working use uthis one r-l-hood@shaw.ca

    • 1) Harmful emissions were taken care of 40 years ago.
      2) CO2 is not a harmful emission.
      3) How long will keep trolling for investors in your scam?

      • I have no scam, If emissions were solved 40 tears ago why are coal plants in the United States shutting down left nd right. It is because the solution of 40 years ago is very expensive, and di not include CO2. and you will never find that I believe CO2 needs to be sequestered becse I do not know. The solar and wind proponents have changed the data so much we don’t know if any of it is true now. But look at their claim, 95% of scientists believe that CO2 causes Global Warming. our way is a whole lot less expensive, and includes CO2, Why? because the UN IPCC says that theye are going to shut down all coal fired power plats to reduce CO2. The solar and wind proponents have convinced a lot of people now, but no scientist that I have talked to. No decent scientist would ever say he believes something to be true. I did not believe in God until 10 years after he started trying to prove to me that he existed. I guess it was getting off of a bridge in Seoul Korea that fell down and getting out of a building later that same day convince me he existed. Earier I had gotten off of airplanes before the crashed. and he had me wear gasses from 2 months after I passed s drivers license exam with perfect vision. 1 week after I started wearing them a coworker thew a price stamper and I woaked aroud the corner. It knoch=ked my glasses off an I was sure that if I had not had them on I would have lost my right eye. about 10 years later I was changing a water pump on a Pontiac, and a Sears Craftsman wrench broke,knocked my safety glasses off and put a gash in my nose that required 7 stitches to close. I picked up the glasses and the left lense, and then my wife who was an RN said you are going to the hospital right now. She drove there in her Pontiac and then removed the stiches in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on the day the doctor said they needed to come out. she hadn’t worked as an RN for at least 10 years at that time, but I survived that too. While I was figuring out how to make Athabasca Bitumen 45% lower in CO2 emissions than any other oil in the world, he told me I was harder to convince than any man he had eve met. I said I took Purdue University seriously don’t trust anything yu cannot rive will work.

    • But Richard we want the CO2 from the burning of coal, the more the better. We, as humans, must make a concerted effort to get as much CO2 in the atmosphere as possible. It is the true Green New Deal.

    • You should get to know our other buddy here who has a great Clean Coal process.
      Sid Abma.
      Unlike you, Sid even has a YouTube cartoon showing how wonderful his process is. Maybe if you work with Sid, you could cobble up your own cartoon showing how wonderful ZECCOM is.
      Here is a link to his latest comment:
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/20/global-warming-energy-restrictions-threaten-u-s-national-security/#comment-2660474

      Did you know that there is exactly 0 information about ZECCOM out there? It might even lead one to believe that ZECCOM does not really exist.

      • He’d hardly be the only one selling pixie dust magic solutions to the Greens. I wouldn’t mind so much that they keep sinking money into one ‘Clean Energy’ scam after another, if it was THEIR money they were wasting.

        ~¿~

  12. Of course this is an interpretation of the Commerce Clause so no matter who wins along the way, it will make it to the SCOTUS. Likely then that Washington State will lose with the existing make-up of SCOTUS.

    Again we see why the Liberals are determined to Pack the Supreme Court with up to 4 more justices. Everything in the Left’s unconstitutional agenda is dependent on having a Liberal Supreme Court. A Living Constitution Court will be there goal. A court that will bend and flex the constitution into a pretzel and change black-letter meaning of words in the constitution and in statues to support the Liberal Agenda until it is unrecognizable Rule of Law.

    Packing the Supreme Court – The Liberals’ new rallying cry.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/court-packing-ideas-get-attention-from-democrats/2019/03/10/d05e549e-41c0-11e9-a0d3-1210e58a94cf_story.html?utm_term=.f6d98ac56e65

    A whole laundry list of Progressives Democrats are now calling for Democrats to add 4 new Justices in 2021 if they can sweep the Congress and the White House.
    – DNC Chairman Comrade Vladimir Perez
    – former Obama AG Eric Hold-up Holder
    – Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) running for Prez called it an “interesting idea”

    All the other DNC candidates refuse to answer the question on Court Packing, although you know most of them would go along with it were one of them to become POTUS. It is an extremely toxic subject with moderates and Republicans for any Dem candidate to support. We saw what happened to 3 Demo-rat senators in Missouri, South Dakota, and Indiana when they voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation last October. They got booted out 1 month later.

    The issue of Court Packing will become one which they cannot run from though as too many Democrat activists are pushing the idea. They will have to face answering the question in the debates, if not their own for the primaries, but with the general election debate.

    • Getting rid of the Electoral College, as well as packing the Supreme Court, is also at the top of the leftists list.

  13. The way to stop that is for interior states to ban the sale of products from coastal states, or from passing through their states.

      • If we’re gona win the war against these Marxist’s, we had better grow a backbone, stand up and start swinging.

        • If they’re successful at stacking the Supreme Court and abolishing the electoral college it won’t be a bout of fisticuffs, we’ll end up shooting each other. Fortunately, the nukes are in red states.

          • In few days a friendly government will be elected Alberta. The interior states should approach them with the offer to form an alliance that blocks the west coast from north to south, so they can’t send trains and trucks around a barricade. Alberta is having the same problem with BC blocking Alberta’s oil exports, because they are in an alliance with US west coast states. Washington state openly attacks Alberta’s energy industry and export intentions, even while they are part of a pipeline that brings oil from Alberta to Washington state.

          • Sorry but you are forgetting a whole bunch of nukes at the weapons station just outside of Seattle and on the subs that visit.

            Then you have the problem of the nukes that are manufactured in Texas if Texas goes blue ( we just had Harris County switch to red when the extra votes in Houston were counted.

    • Nearly everything imported from China that ends up on the East Coast goes by rail through the interior states. Let’s see them block trains from Washington or California and see if they like the Commerce Clause too.

  14. Nebraska and Kansas have large rail lines, where this coal passes. Many rail jobs would be on the line.

    • Japanese investors going renewable means China won’t be using any of the coal from all the mines they’ve been recently opening.

      Right.

      Regardless, when was the last time these “energy analysts” got anything right?

  15. What’s happening in Washington is playing out in Canada, where one province (British Columbia) owns the entire west coast and has a monopoly over all export projects. It’s a true constitutional crisis here, with several projects blocked and more being threatened to be completely stopped. Alberta, the main oil province, is in an election campaign now and the right wing guy is running away with it – He is going to raise hell, and maybe even stoke the separatist sentiment, which is polling over 50%. One’s imagination is the only limit on the chaos that climate change activists can bring when they find one bottleneck that can stop big things. They truly are a stakeholder with too much power.

  16. Is it possible to abolish the Electoral Collage” ? I know that it is what we
    call a Gerrymander, designed to favour the rural over the cities, but I thought
    that it was a part of the US Constitution.

    MJE VK5ELL

    • Sure. It requires a constitutional amendment but it can be done. The electoral college is not gerrymandering. It was designed to prevent a large state or a couple of states from dominating the politics of the country. In 1789, the concern was Virginia. Virginia was the largest, most populous state at that time. Today, it’s California. In the 2016 election, the Electoral College worked as designed.

    • Electoral college is NOT a Gerrymander.

      Back when I finished college, I also believed it was an outdated method for picking the president. Luckily, since then, I actually have learned a lot – and discovered it was an ingenious method to help temper tyranny by highly populated states over a majority of states.

      We live a in Republic made up of a union of States, and protecting the rights of minorities is important in a Republic. By minority, I am not just referring to the outdated concept of races, but any substantial segment of the population that has different beliefs – so religions, political party members, vegans, you name it. The Electoral College was specifically designed to protect less populous states – it was not a mistake.

      I live in a very populous state so it isn’t protecting me, but it is helping to protect places like Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, and other states from tyranny by the coastal states. By itself it only “tempers” the tyranny, it does not prevent it completely. This protection is one reason why the united *States* democracy has survived so long.

  17. They will have to find for the right’s of states to export their goods. If not, it would be possible for states to “gang up” and isolate an interior state for blackmail.

    What will be interesting is when they try to halt exports through new tactics, like a “toxic tax” on certain goods entering the state. The state has a right to tax. They can make exporting coal too expensive. Like a state gasoline tax on steroids. (of course, that is a consumption tax)

    What interior coal mining states need to do is grind the coal up and mix with crude oil and ship through a pipeline. LOL

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