The Governor's signature on the budget act marked the death knell for three years of extremist wrangling for State expropriation of Alcoa's dams, submerged lands, and hydroelectric licensing. The coalition of shills for a State takeover of the Yadkin River lake system---which would have saddled taxpayers with all the burdens of maintenance, while nonprofits reaped the rewards, and local governments would have lost tax revenues---were soundly defeated. The proposal has been prominently visible in the proposed State Budget Act since at least June 15th, and environmentalists have opined about it in blogs for more than a month now. Yet, despite the midnight-rewrite that created the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission in 2010, ex nihilo, the last three days of the session, some of the loudest critics of the elimination of the URRC claim that even though the proposal was online since June 15th, somehow the process was 'hidden' in 'darkness' all this time. So, were the 'watchdogs' asleep all this time? Were they not capable of searching the 394 page budget using 'tools' in their browser? Or do they simply want public sympathy now against the 'Evil Corporation,' Alcoa?
The legacy of the Uwharrie Regional Resources Commission made an indelible mark on the fabric of our State's history. No jobs were created. No viable alternative to Alcoa's relicensing was offered. No groundswell of support for the Commission ever emerged. No substantive citizen input was permitted. And after an hour and a half of anti-Alcoa rants were delivered back in February, the Commission Chairman only permitted an Alcoa representative to speak for three or four minutes, 'out of fairness'. Ha! Just CRY ME A RIVER OF OPPORTUNITIE$!
The URRC's indelible mark on the fabric of our State's history--- even if only a $#*! stain on our history of open and accountable government---has been made.
Rest in Peace, URRC. We'll miss you, as you float downstream without a paddle! Maybe now, Uwharrie Capital can shift funding to the remaining Don Quixote's in the region who operate nonprofits with similar visions of 'free money'.