Alcoa’s deal not great for Stanly County
State Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) responds to recent stories about Alcoaís relicensing standoff with Stanly County (submitted before the most recent breakdown of talks):
Alcoa is doing it again. They criticized the Stanly County Commissioners, telling the Post how it had tried to bring Horsehead Corp. to Stanly County but the county lost the jobs because the commissioners were intransigent to show ěa willingness to work togetherî and because Horsehead ědidnít want to get involved in the squabbling.î
The way Alcoa tells the story the commissioners handled it pretty badly.
Until you consider this: Horsehead Corp.ís spokesman says Alcoa is dead wrong.
ěIím not sure where anyone would have gotten that impression,î a Horsehead senior vice president told the Post, then added flatly that Stanly County was not difficult to work with.
Letís look at a couple of other Alcoa flim-flams. Alcoa says it and its partner Clean Tech Corp. are ready to bring 250 jobs to Stanly County and if it doesnít it will pay the county a $1.2 million penalty every year for 50 years. But thereís one catch: First, Alcoa says, Stanly County must support Alcoa receiving a new federal license to control part of the Yadkin River (and 940,000,000 kilowatt hours of hydro-electricity) for 50 years.
What Alcoa wonít say is Stanly County reported at their last commissioner meeting (Dec. 5) that Alcoa turned away companies that wanted to create jobs in Stanly County but did not require the state to give up the fight for the 50-year license. If Alcoa was sincere about job creation, they would not do be turning away good jobs.
Now, letís forget for a moment that Alcoa ó in a trial in Raleigh last year ó was caught misleading state officials about its pollution.
And letís forget that after years of denying it was responsible for putting PCBs in Badin Lake, last month Alcoa had to do an about face.
Instead, letís look at two facts: First, when the commissioners asked Alcoa to guarantee those payments with a bond, Alcoa said no way. The commissioners explained what that proved. It meant, they said, Alcoaís promise wasnít worth the paper it was written on.
Second, Alcoa says it earns $8 million in profits a year selling hydroelectricity from its Yadkin River dams. What that means is simple too: Alcoa can get its license, then walk away without creating a single job, and even if it keeps its promise to pay Stanly County $1.2 million, Alcoa will pocket $6.8 million in profits every year for 50 years.
Thatís why Alcoaís deal is not a fair deal for Stanly County or North Carolina. But itís a great deal for Alcoa.