2014 in Review: Goldman Sachs Sacks Coal Terminal Investment

By Amanda Starbuck


Your voice was heard.

For communities of the Pacific Northwest, 2014 started off with some good news. On January 7, Goldman Sachs sold off its share in SSA Marine, the corporation behind a colossal coal export terminal proposal near Bellingham, Washington that threatens to ruin the rich biodiversity and unique cultural legacy found in the region. If built, the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point would be the largest proposed coal export terminal in the country, with up to 18 mile-long coal trains traveling through local communities every day and nearly 48 million tons of coal exported to Asian markets each year. 

Goldman Sachs’ move away from SSA Marine and their coal terminal came after coal companies and their proponents tabled or dropped three out of six proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest in the previous two years.

And it would not have happened without you. Starting in 2011, RAN, along with ally organizations and thousands of concerned citizens, called on Goldman Sachs to quit this coal export terminal. By raising our voices about this egregious project and by continually calling out the U.S. banking sector for investing in coal, we showed Goldman Sachs that the Gateway Pacific Terminal was just too hot to handle.

Goldman Sachs’ action was the perfect signal that the terminal’s threats to the climate, human rights, thriving Tribal fisheries and biodiversity in the sensitive Puget Sound marine environment are just too grave to ignore. Proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest would result in almost as much carbon pollution as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. And if the coal companies can’t sell their product abroad, they will be forced to keep it in the ground.