CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming lawmakers have endorsed a plan to set aside money to sue states that turn away from using coal to generate electricity.
The House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously Friday to advance the bill that would reserve $1.2 million to sue states that support shutting down Wyoming coal-fired power plants or impede exports of Wyoming coal.
"If we don't start fighting back, we will be dictated by not only the federal government but other states," Wheatland Republican Rep. Jeremy Haroldson said,
Haroldson is among nearly 40 cosponsors of the bill in the House and Senate, the Casper Star Tribune reports.
Wyoming produces more coal than any other state. Increased competition from renewable energy and cheaper natural gas has diminished demand for coal-fired electricity.
Wyoming and Montana have sued Washington state for denying a permit to build a dock that would allow more coal exports.
The company seeking to build the port, Lighthouse Resources, filed for bankruptcy in December and has been unable to find a buyer for the project.