Environmental groups are hailing Goldman Sachs' decision to sell its share of the company that is proposing construction of Gateway Pacific Terminal to export coal from Cherry Point in Whatcom County.
“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 RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, in a press 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. We can do better than coal export both in Bellingham and the Northwest.”
But it is far from obvious that the complex financial transaction announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 by SSA Marine, has anything to do with Gateway Pacific or any impact on its prospects.
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One thing to keep in mind: SSA Marine is a big company. Its fate does not hinge solely on Gateway Pacific. It is a going concern with revenues from operations at many existing ports. The company website offers this map of SSA operations.
I have asked SSA Marine spokesmen to comment on what local impact this transaction might have.