Industries Sufferingby James E. Schon
The Columbian, August 22, 2004
The Northwest cannot continue to sacrifice jobs for a few more years of cheap power.
Because of high power prices, many jobs are being eliminated. I have seen other plants closed and modernization plans scrapped throughout North America because long-term power was not available. Please do not let this happen in the Northwest.
Companies such as aluminum manufacturers can't afford to keep operating. These jobs are important. These jobs support more than just one person; they support entire communities, economies and the entire region.
If the power prices from the Bonneville Power Administration continue to stay high, entire industries like aluminum will be forced to move to a more business-friendly environment.
That probably means overseas, taking the jobs with them.
Without the aluminum, industry communities will suffer, businesses will suffer and national defense may even be impacted.
Aluminum is a strategic-defense material. We need a domestic supply of this material.
We need to take a different approach to allocating federal hydropower, which doesn't mean sacrificing jobs.
I know of these issues first-hand as I am currently working in Louisiana due to a facility closure in the Northwest.
The Northwest is a beautiful place to be and work!
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