Retained as expert witnesses by Washington State Office of the Attorney General (AGO) in the matter of Lighthouse Resources, Inc., et al. v. Jay Inslee, et al. before the US District Court (West). Prepared written expert testimony Expert Report on Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview/Lighthouse and the Expert Rebuttal Report on Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview/Lighthouse. The reports analyze the burden to the US coal industry if the Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview (Millennium) were not built.
In light of TGG’s analysis of Asian demand for the US coal to be exported via the terminal, as well as the employment impacts of the terminal, the November 2018 Expert Report concluded that the terminal would not significantly affect the US coal industry, nor US coal exports to Asian markets. After careful review of the other expert reports, TGG concluded in the December 2018 Expert Rebuttal Report that the findings and conclusions of the November 2018 Expert Report remained unchanged. New developments occurring since the filing of the Expert Report, as well as TGG’s review of the reports of the other experts, have further strengthened the opinions and findings in the TGG Expert Report.
Update: In December 2020, Millennium’s parent company, Lighthouse Resources, filed for bankruptcy (under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code). During the bankruptcy proceedings, there were no buyers for Milllennium. The lease for the Project site at Longview was then terminated in January 2021, effectively cancelling the Project. The related litigation was subsequently terminated.
The circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy further validate the conclusions of TGG’s expert reports, particularly those related to the weak economics of the Project. The key findings in our analysis included the following:
- The Applicant (Lighthouse Resources, Inc.) is a minor player in the US thermal coal industry, and the low-value mines owned by Lighthouse will not supply large volumes of coal to Asia.
- The Project is a speculative venture that is unlikely to operate at high levels of throughput over the long-term.
- The Project is not needed to supply coal to Asia. Countries that could conceivably be served by exports from Millennium can easily meet their coal requirements from other sources, including Australia and Indonesia. The US will not export large volumes of thermal coal to Asia via Millennium because supply from the US will not be generally economically competitive in destination markets.
- A number of other port alternatives exist that can meet the intermittent and shrinking Asian demand for US thermal coal exports.
- US thermal coal exports face a number of economic challenges and structural disadvantages in the global markets, which are intensifying. These competitive challenges are unrelated to port capacity and will not be overcome by Millennium.
- The denial of the permits has no significant effect on the US domestic coal industry.
- The Project creates very few jobs in Washington State and very few jobs in the overall US economy.
The Hon. Robert Bryan, Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and presiding judge in Lighthouse v. Inslee formally dismissed the litigation on April 27, 2021.
Complete TGG Filings
Other Project Products
CLIENT BRIEFINGS | 2018 – Present
STRATEGIC/TECHNICAL ADVICE | 2018 – Present
SUPPORT TO COUNCIL | 2018 – Present
DEPOSITION | January 30, 2019