Goldman Sachs takes a stand against funding Arctic drilling

Pools of water in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain, Alaska (Photo from AP Images)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Goldman Sachs recently announced a handful of changes to its environmental policies, one of them directly impacting our state.

In its oil & gas section, the multinational investment bank announced a pledge not to finance drilling in the Arctic along with a pledge to stop investing in thermal coal mines or coal-fired projects anywhere in the world.

The direct language on the bank’s website reads:

“We will decline any financing transaction that directly supports new upstream Arctic oil exploration or development. This includes but is not limited to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

Currently a 60-day public comment period is underway, announced by the Bureau of Land Management, following the release of its draft environmental impact statement for the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing is quoted on the environmental group's website applauding the decision.

“The Trump administration may not care about ignoring the will of the American people or trampling Indigenous rights, but a growing number of major financial institutions are making it clear that they do," he says. "Goldman Sachs is right to recognize that destroying the Arctic Refuge would be bad business. We hope other American banks will follow their lead.”

The Rainforest Action Network said in a press release, “Goldman Sachs’s fossil finance policy is now the strongest among the big six U.S. banks.”

Goldman Sachs also announced its plan to invest $750 billion for “climate transition and inclusive growth finance” over the next ten years.

In April of 2019, President Trump signed an executive order " opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration and development for the first time."

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