North Carolina Lieutenant Governor and Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Beverly Perdue Calls on FERC to Delay Alcoa Relicensing

Stanly County, NC, June 11, 2008 --( Democratic gubernatorial nominee and current N.C. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue has asked federal regulators to delay a pending relicensing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filed by Alcoa, Inc. for renewal of a 50-year license to govern and sustain ownership of the water flowing from the Yadkin River, one of the longest rivers in North Carolina. In a letter sent Tuesday, June 3, 2008, to Joseph T. Kelliher, Chairman of the Office of Energy Projects for FERC, Lt. Gov. Perdue asked FERC not to grant Alcoa a new 50-year license “until state policy makers have had an opportunity to fully vet these issues and determine the most appropriate course of action.”

Perdue’s request falls in line with the position of Gov. Mike Easley, who issued a similar letter to the FERC on April 4, as well as the Stanly County Commissioners, each of which have been outspoken concerning the future of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project. It is the position of the Stanly County Commissioners that the best way to provide for the future of the Yadkin River is for the State of North Carolina and its public to be the undisputed owner of the Project.

Alcoa first obtained a 50-year license in 1958 to oversee what is known as the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project, comprised of four hydroelectric stations, dams and reservoirs along a 38-mile stretch of the Yadkin River in central North Carolina. The four water reservoirs are High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows and Falls. The Yadkin-Pee Dee Watershed as a whole includes 21counties and contains 93 state municipalities. The 1958 license to Alcoa expired on April 30, 2008, but the FERC granted a one-year extension to Alcoa.

Stanly County Commissioner Lindsey Dunevant made the following comment:

“We thank Lt. Gov. Perdue for being the latest major official for a governing body in North Carolina to speak out about the crucial issues of water rights involved in this situation. The Yadkin River is an important water resource for the public, and determining its future will have a primary impact on the health and safety of those families who live near it as well as use it for drinking and recreational purposes.”

The text of Lt. Gov. Perdue’s letter is available online at:

About Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue:
Prior to first being elected North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor in 2000, Perdue served in the N.C. House of Representatives for two terms and the N.C. Senate for five terms. In May 2008 she won the nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for governor. A former public school teacher and a former director of geriatrics at a community hospital, Perdue is married to Bob Eaves and has two sons, Garrett and Emmett. For more information, visit

About This Effort:
In 1958, Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, secured a federal hydroelectric license for the Yadkin Project on the Yadkin River in Stanly, Davidson, Montgomery and Rowan Counties in the Central Piedmont. In return, Alcoa promised aluminum manufacturing jobs for Stanly County for years to come. Alcoa has now essentially disappeared as a major employer in the region and shut down its manufacturing plants, but it wants to continue reaping the benefits of the Yadkin River after its license expires. In addition, Alcoa discharged hazardous pollutants into North Carolina air and waterways for decades while harvesting immense profits from the Yadkin River, but has yet to finish cleaning up that contamination. It has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to obtain another 50-year license. If Alcoa is successful, one of North Carolina’s most valuable water resources will be used to maximize Alcoa’s profits, instead of being used to benefit the people of North Carolina, who themselves are in dire need of affordable electricity, local economic development, and clean, adequate drinking water.

Stanly County
Patty Briguglio