Coal opponents: Goldman Sachs moves bode poorly for fossil fuels
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Opponents of a proposed coal export facility in Bellingham count a major U.S. investment outfit’s decision to sell its project share as a victory for renewable and clean fuels backers.
It’s not strictly clear what the series of moves, involving Seattle-based Carrix Inc. and its parent company FRS Capital Corp., mean for the actual project. The founders of Carrix, the parent company of the SSA Marine group that wants to build the Gateway Pacific project near Bellingham, purchased all of the outstanding FRS stock owned by Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners. The Carrix founders then sold those shares to Mexican investor Fernando Chico Pardo.
If nothing else, coal opponents believe Goldman Sachs’ move signals a move away from mainstream support for fossil fuels.
“Goldman Sachs’ stepping away from coal export is yet another sign from Wall Street that coal export is a losing investment,” said Crina Hoyer, executive director of the group RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, http://www.re-sources.org in a release. “We already know that local Main Street businesses would feel the negative impacts from coal export, and communities across the region are saying no to this bad deal because of health, climate, environmental and economic impacts.”
A spokeswoman for Ambre Energy, which wants to build a coal export facility near Boardman, said the company had no comment on the investment news.
The Smith/Hemingway family, which retains a controlling 51 percent ownership interest in the company, said in a release that the Pardo funds “will be used to continue Carrix’s growth as the largest, privately-owned, independent port developer and operator in the United States and Western Hemisphere.”
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