Atlas Carbon received a $15 million loan from the state of Wyoming and now, after its default, it must open its doors and books to state auditors.

Altas Carbon is the first company to commercialize a non-combustive for local coal.

The State Loan and Investment Board voted unanimously to declare Atlas Carbon in default.

Board members include Gov. Mark Gordon, Secretary of State Chuck Gray, Auditor Kristi Racines, Treasurer Curt Meier, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder.

Under the rules of the loan, the State Treasurer’s Office could seize the company’s assets offered as collateral.

“We’re hoping for a positive outcome for both Atlas Carbon and the interests of the state,” Meier told WyoFile on Friday.

Coal Industry Hopes For A Boost As Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Regulations
George Frey, Getty Images

The company CEO said that Atlas Carbon will work with the state to resolve the matter and that the company’s coal-refining plant will continue normal operations.

“As far as we are concerned, our operation is fully going forward and we are fully bringing product to our clients as we’re speaking,” Hashampour told WyoFile by phone on Friday. He added that Atlas’ loan repayment obligations to the state are “being addressed.

Atlas Carbon has also faced legal trouble.

The company was awarded a $15 million loan in 2016. There was a grace period of no payments until the company became profitable. But when it came time to pay Atlas Carbon began to default.

Atlas Carbon claimed that they are working in an increasingly challenging financial market where “environmental, social and corporate governance” (or ESG) policies forbid some companies from investing in coal.

“All Atlas needs is a little bit of time,” he told board members. “Atlas is not asking to expand the amount of the loan or security that protects the state’s interest or otherwise put this state at risk. We simply need time.”

We are once again asking whether the government should loan money to those who cannot find enough investors or acquire adequate bank loans. The argument is made, once again, that government should never act as a bank.

Outstanding Graffiti Train Passes Through Wyoming

We all see the graffiti on trains that pass through Wyoming.

But have you ever paused just a moment to look at it?

A lot is garbage.

But some of this still can be considered art.

Even great art.

Other times it's just an interesting message.

Grifiti art exhibit on wheels passing through America pauses in Wyoming

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

Exploring Wyoming's Alcova River Canyon

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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