Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Perdue wants to 'recapture' Yadkin project

When Gov. Bev Perdue asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to halt its consideration of a license renewal for Alcoa Power Generating's hydroelectric facilities on the Yadkin River and ask Congress to "recapture" the projects for the benefit of the state of North Carolina, the motion filed by the state attorney general's office noted that the original reasons for Alcoa to have the license -- the smelter at Badin and local employment -- have evaporated. The state's argument turns on the fact that Alcoa no longer has a workforce that would justify granting a license for control of a public trust resource such as the waters of the Yadkin:

"Fifty years later, the smelting works are no longer operational and the jobs and economic activities associated with them are gone. A skeleton crew of employees remains to look after the shuttered works and to operate the hydropower facilities. While the state and the surrounding communities have largely lost their stake in the original arrangement, APGI continues to operate the dams and generate and sell power at a significant profit. The state therefore moves to intervene to curtail APGI's vestigial private control of this segment of the Yadkin River and to rededicate this valuable resource to significant public use."

And in a footnote, the filing notes that this case is unique. "The licensee is not regulated by the state as a public utility. Nor is the state aware of any other instance in the state where a licensee has secured a license, with the state's active support, expressly to support the local community, then abandoned the activity that brought that benefit."

The motion notes that "never has so compelling an economic case been presented" supporting the nation's first "recapture" of a hydroelectric project from a former federal licensee. The project "now provides only the most minimal public benefits, e.g., payment of taxes, provision of power (albeit for private use and not for the public convenience.)… This contrasts markedly with the express purpose for the initial investment in the project, which was to maintain and enhance the local Badin works."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go back east BEV!!! We do not want you in our city.

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Dick Whittington said...

This is clearly a power grab, literally. Is this not nationalization of industry? We are plunging headlong into a socialistic society. The evil witch of the East has to go.

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