Sen. Fletcher L. Hartsell Jr., R-Cabarrus, filed a 14-page bill in the state Senate Wednesday that would create a state trust to take over the four hydroelectric projects Alcoa owns on the Yadkin River at High Rock Lake, Tuckertown Reservoir, Badin Lake and the Falls Reservoir.
Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, is also a co-sponsor of the bill along with the majority leaders of both parties in the Senate, Phil Berger of Rockingham County and Tony Rand of Cumberland County. The counties affected by the bill are Davidson, Stanly, Montgomery and Rowan.Whoever thinks this is a good idea is, to be pointed, an idiot. My belief is that the real motivation behind this simply greed. The pols are pissed that Alcoa closed the smelters and started simply selling the power they generate at the dams. It makes no difference to our elected statists that this was a business decision based on economic realities. Like AIG, those greedy bastards must be punished!
If I were Alcoa and it looked like this was going to be successful, Atlas would most definitely shrug. Dismantle the powerhouses and tell the envro-weenies you want to destroy the dams so that you can return the river to its wild state. They'll be in favor of it.
Then you can just sit back and listen to the howls of the people who built all those pricey homes on High Rock and Badin with a smile on your face. And when the local pols figure out what has just happened to their tax base--BONUS POINTS!
(3/27/2009 1431: Alcoa has their say. Stanley County is greedy and pissed. The Governor is clueless on water rights in NC (Hint: They don't work like they do out west). The Salisbury Post says that the greedsters are going to create a "dam mess". And I still think a good healthy shrug is in order.)