Alaska targets Goldman Sachs over environmental policy

Alaska’s governor said the state may stop working with Goldman Sachs after the bank announced it would not finance future Arctic oil exploration.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he is reconsidering whether Alaska should do business with Goldman, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

“I think it’s part of my role to advocate on behalf of Alaska,” Dunleavy said.

Goldman announced earlier this month that it would not finance new Arctic oil drilling projects or coal-fired power plants that do not have equipment to reduce carbon emissions, as well as tighten its standards for financing other fossil-fuel projects.

After Goldman announced its updated environmental policy, the state removed the bank from the list of five participating banks in the Alaska Tax Credit Certificate Bond Corp.

Goldman’s new policy “is in direct conflict with the goals of the State of Alaska and threatens Alaska’s oils and gas industry, one of the State’s primary revenue sources and economic drivers,” Alaska’s acting revenue commissioner wrote in a letter to the bank.

Alaska named Goldman a co-senior underwriter for the corporation in early December. The agency is authorized by the state legislature to borrow up to $1 billion from public markets to pay tax credits to North Slope oil and gas drillers.

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The corporation’s work has been on hold for more than a year after a Juneau man sued to stop the plan. The Alaska Supreme Court is expected to rule on its legality.

“Goldman Sachs has underwritten over $2.4 billion of bonds as part of 26 transactions over the last 10 years” with state agencies and municipalities, Alaska Department of Revenue legislative liaison Genevieve Wojtusik said in a statement.

Goldman also has an arrangement with the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has about $403 million of assets associated with the bank, Permanent Fund Corp. CEO Angela Rodell said.

Dunleavy also raised the possibility of taking action against other companies that take stances similar to Goldman.

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