Say 'No' to Alcoa
by Wesley E. Wheeler
The Daily News, November 13, 2008
I worked at Alcoa/Reynolds for 25 years. In that time, I along with many of my coworkers, lobbied BPA on behalf of Alcoa/Reynolds to secure cheap, long-term power rates. In those days, there was an abundance of hydroelectric power. So, at that time, giving DSI's (direct service industries) multi-year power contracts helped everyone in the Northwest keep power rates low by allowing DSIs to be power on off-peak hours.
This is not the case any longer. We have had major power shortages in the past and I guarantee we will have power shortages in the future. Ted Sprague, president of the Cowlitz Economic Development Council, is right when he says that this power agreement, "subsidizing energy rates," will negatively affect our local industry and economy.
It is projected that it could cost our local employers an increase of 3 percent to their power rates. I will be willing to bet those rates will increase much higher in this 17-year agreement. Can we afford this? I think not. Alcoa doesn't deserve squat.
We all remember Michael Lynch, the guy who made off with millions of dollars of taxpayers' money. He left Alcoa/Reynolds employees with no pension benefits, no medical benefits and our plant shut down permanently.
Alcoa is not a good corporate citizen. This 17-year power agreement for Alcoa is nothing more than corporate welfare.
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