Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goldman Sachs Sacks Coal Terminal Investment

For Immediate Release -- January 8, 2013

Media Contacts:
Crina Hoyer: Executive Director, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities -- 360-223-8678
Kimberly Larson: Communications Director, Power Past Coal -- 206-388-8674
Amanda Starbuck: Energy Finance Program Director, Rainforest Action Network -- 415-203-9952

BELLINGHAM, WA -- Power Past Coal coalition partner reaction to news that Goldman Sachs is no longer an investor in Carrix and the coal export terminal at Cherry Point in Washington State:

Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners has sold off its remaining equity investment in Carrix, the parent company of Pacific International Terminals (PIT) and SSA Marine (they were 49% stakeholders).   PIT, SSA Marine and Peabody Energy have proposed a 48 million ton per year coal export terminal north of Bellingham, WA at Cherry Point.   If built, it would be the largest coal export terminal in North America and would mean up to 18 coal trains traveling round-trip through local communities.  The move comes after coal companies and their proponents have tabled or dropped three out of six proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest in the last two years.  The new investor is Fernando Chico Pardo, a Mexican businessman.

Statement from Crina Hoyer, Executive Director of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities:

“Goldman Sachs’ stepping away from coal export is yet another sign from Wall Street that coal export is a losing investment.  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.”

Recent financial records have shown several of the companies are on shaky financial ground and market analysis by Goldman Sachs, Bernstein Research, Deustche Bank, Bank of America and other market exports saying that coal demand abroad is likely on a permanent decline. Of note, Goldman Sachs wrote in an analysis in July of 2013 and “We believe thermal coal demand growth will slow down in the coming years. . . the potential for profit­able investments in new thermal coal mining capacity is becoming increasingly limited.”

POWER PAST COAL is an ever-growing alliance of health groups, businesses and environmental, clean-energy, faith and community organizations working to stop coal export off the West Coast. Visit www.powerpastcoal.org for more information.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Introducing Our New Green Classroom Certification Program


In September, RE Sources welcomed our very first AmeriCorps member, Alex Wentz!  Alex helps out our Sustainable Schools Manager, Riley Grant, and is developing and implementing the Green Classroom Certification Program. Alex has a professional background in secondary education, and is looking forward to this opportunity to teach younger students, connect students to the world around them, and help them to see the role they play in it.

The Green Classroom Certification process, the program Alex is currently developing, involves teachers and their students focusing on a sustainability topic, hosting a classroom workshop about that topic, completing a school or community focused action project, and sharing their experience with us. One of the biggest perks of the program is that we are here to provide lots of hands-on support for teachers along the way, whether that’s conducting a school-wide waste audit or just being a sound board for ideas. The three possible topics teachers can choose from are:
  • Waste Prevention
  • Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
  • Water Conservation
Alex is really enjoying the work so far, focusing primarily on developing and structuring the program from the ground up. “The goal is to make a program that will be fun and engaging to students while at the same time addressing some curriculum requirements for the teachers,” Alex said. “While we’re still doing some fine-tuning, I’m really happy with what we’ve created and I think students and teachers alike will find this to be a very rewarding educational experience.”
The Green Classroom Certification is a pilot program for RE Sources. We are starting by focusing on Bellingham’s Public elementary schools – up to fifth grade -- and we’re launching the program in January!  If you are an elementary teacher, working for Bellingham Public Schools or any Whatcom County school district, and this sounds interesting to you, please check out the Sustainable Schools page on the RE Sources website or contact us for more information. Alex would love to hear from you!


Thank you to the following partners for making this program possible: Washington Service Corps, Alcoa Foundation, Whatcom County Solid Waste Division and City of Bellingham Public Works.