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Bangor Daily News: Century-old Maine fuel company’s sale follows trend of private equity interest in oil

At a time when Maine and the country are taking actions to reduce fossil fuels in the face of climate change, with a gubernatorial climate action plan aiming to reach 80 percent renewable energy statewide by 2030, the Bangor Daily News reported on the sale of a family-owned 112-year-old Dead River Co. of South Portland to private equity firm Redwood Capital Investments of Maryland. 

Bangor Daily News, October 22, 2021: Century-old Maine fuel company’s sale follows trend of private equity interest in oil

Dead River is a fuel company with deep Maine roots, and Redwood Capital has bought or invested in more than a dozen propane and fuel companies across the nation since 2015, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The paper reported that in Maine, 3 in 5 households use fuel oil as their primary heat source, a larger share than any other state. The tight energy supplies driving up prices globally benefit Redwood Capital and other private equity firms, which together have invested $1.1 trillion into the energy sector since 2010. 

Citing the Private Equity Stakeholder Project’s (PESP) recent report on how Private Equity Propels the Climate Crisis, the Bangor Daily News shared that private equity’s energy investments only add up to 12 percent in renewables. 

PESP Climate Director Alyssa Giachino told the Bangor Daily News that the Private Equity Stakeholder Project is pushing for more disclosures in private equity deals, which typically are kept quiet, and that private equity firms typically focus on extracting as much profit as possible out of any investment quickly.

“Given the science and the global conversation around the climate crisis, we’re in a moment where every actor needs to do their part,” she said.

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