There is about a third-page ad in today's Stanly News and Press, signed by "Citizens for Safe, Sustainable Jobs for Stanly Countians" (another Roger Dick front group).
Stanly County’s long-running disagreement with Alcoa comes down to a simple issue: We would like to use our local natural resources to create jobs here while Alcoa wants to use the same resources to generate income without any benefit locally.
However, at last, a solution may be in sight.
Recently, AltaGas Power Holdings, a company that invests in clean sources of power contacted the County Commissioners, and expressed its interest in operating Alcoa’s Yadkin hydroelectric dams as part of a public/private partnership – if it can negotiate a purchase agreement with Alcoa.
Representatives of AltaGas met with the Stanly County Commissioners and, as part of the proposal, discussed:
– A public entity such as the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission would be added to the FERC License as a co-licensee;
– AltaGas would annually pay the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission a sum based on a percentage of the dams’ gross generation in kilowatt hours – in effect, a profit sharing agreement between AltaGas and the URRC;
– The URRC (or other relevant public body) could acquire the project for a nominal sum after twenty-five to thirty years;
– If AltaGas acquires the project from Alcoa, then AltaGas would assist Stanly County with the expenses associated with its participation in the re-licensing process;
AltaGas then contacted Alcoa, which, initially, indicated it was not interested in selling its Yadkin hydroelectric dams. However, AltaGas remains interested in the Project.
The needs of our community – to create jobs – and Alcoa’s goals, as a multi-national corporation, have diverged. AltaGas’s proposal is a win-win for everyone. We hope Alcoa will consider our needs, reconsider AltaGas’s proposal, and allow us to work with AltaGas to strengthen our local economy.
I've checked into the facts, and I can report that AltaGas and the Stanly County Commissioners have been talking behind closed doors, and now run a public ad, about AltaGas and the URRC somehow (it's awfully vague) owning, partially owning, at least co-licensing the Yadkin Project without bothering to talk to Alcoa, the URRC, or the relicensing stakeholders. A source with Alcoa said AltaGas has not directly contacted them. When Alcoa heard about these private talks going on, Alcoa contacted AltaGas and told AltaGas they were not interested in selling the project at this time.
Since what Alcoa says about its own property means nothing to either AltaGas or the Stanly County Commissioners, the Commission has today also issued a notice of Special Meeting for "economic development to discuss a proposal from AltaGas."
In my book, you don't engage in a lot of scheming about someone else's property without talking to them or without their permission. In my book, you don't presume to speak for a government board without talking to them or without their permission.
AltaGas is a Canadian multi-national company not headquartered in North Carolina: http://www.altagas.ca/