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As Usual, Opinions Split on BPA-Smelter Contracts

by Associated Press, November 17, 2008

A stronger transmission system is a must for Bonneville. PORTLAND, Ore. - The Bonneville Power Administration wants to provide electricity discounts totaling as much as $66 million annually to a smelter in Ferndale, Washington, for the next 20 years.

And the owner of the smelter, Alcoa, commits to maintaining 480 jobs at its Intalco Works plant if it gets the power.

But Oregon's governor, public utilities and consumer advocates criticize the proposal.

Consumers advocates say it shows that BPA favors aluminum industry jobs over those in other industries.

Public utilities say they'll end up paying for them in higher rates that would force job cuts among their struggling industrial customers.

Meanwhile, Washington's governor and the state's congressional delegation support the proposal.

They say it would help maintain jobs without placing a significant burden on the region's other customers.

Information from: The Oregonian,

Associated Press
As Usual, Opinions Split on BPA-Smelter Contracts, November 17, 2008

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