June 27, 2008
North Carolina Voters Strongly Oppose State Takeover of Hydro Project in Central North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A statewide public opinion poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates shows that North Carolina voters overwhelmingly oppose a state takeover of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project operated by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI) in central North Carolina. The poll found that 75 percent of voters disapprove of the state using tax dollars to take over a privately owned and operated business; oppose a state takeover of the Yadkin Project by a 3-to-1 margin (57% to 19%); and oppose the state getting into the power business by a 2-to-1 margin (59% to 27%).
State lawmakers are currently contemplating whether to form a Yadkin Study Commission that would examine water issues along the Yadkin River, including whether or not the State of North Carolina should pursue a takeover of the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project. The state budget passed last week by the N.C. Senate includes this provision.
"This survey clearly shows that the voters of North Carolina strongly believe that it is a very bad idea for the state government to take over the Alcoa hydroelectric dams and power plant," said John McLaughlin, CEO of McLaughlin and Associates, a national polling firm based in New York. "Philosophically, the large majority of North Carolina voters are opposed to the concept. In practical terms, they do not want to pay for the takeover and believe the state should instead focus on addressing more pressing needs like education and the economy."
An executive summary of the poll, including the exact wording of survey questions and a breakdown of results, is available at: http://www.alcoa.com/yadkin/en/pdf/NC_APGI_Memo_0625_Final.pdf .
"The poll confirmed our hunch that voters don't want our state government taking over private companies or getting into the power business. The surprising thing was how strongly voters felt about this issue. Regardless of the cost, more than 70 percent of voters were opposed to the idea of a state takeover of the Yadkin Project," said Gene Ellis, licensing and property manager, Alcoa Power Generating Inc.
About the Poll:
The poll, commissioned by APGI, was conducted June 19-22, 2008. McLaughlin & Associates conducted a telephone survey of 500 likely voters on June 19-22, 2008. An additional oversample provided a total of 350 interviews in Anson, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Montgomery, Randolph, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties.
Background on the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project:
Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI) has been generating clean and renewable energy along the Yadkin River in central North Carolina for nearly a century. It operates four dams and powerhouses under a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). APGI is currently pursuing a new federal license and has been working closely with stakeholders in North Carolina and South Carolina regarding the future management of the Yadkin Project for more than five years. A Relicensing Settlement Agreement, signed by 23 organizations, was submitted to FERC in May 2007. The agreement calls for APGI to improve water quality, maintain higher water levels and provide new recreational opportunities during the new license term. Learn more at alcoafacts.com.
Alcoa Power Generating Inc.
Web site: http://www.alcoafacts.com/