Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NC business owner speaks out against government takeover of Yadkin Project, considers relocating to South Carolina

I wanted to share with you a press release that highlights the reaction of one North Carolina business owner to the government's attempt to takeover the privately-owned Yadkin Project. Rick Glenn is so troubled by the prospect of a government takeover that he plans to relocate his business to South Carolina if it happens.

The entire press release is posted below:

N.C. business owner speaks out against government takeover of Alcoa’s hydroelectric business on the Yadkin River

Bill being considered in N.C. House could allow North Carolina to seize Alcoa’s business, but it could cost North Carolina taxpayers more than $500 million

CHARLOTTE, NC – As North Carolina legislators contemplate an unprecedented government takeover of Alcoa’s privately-owned hydroelectric business on the Yadkin River, the effort is being met with resistance from North Carolina business owners like Richard Glenn, president of Glenn Underwater Services. The Charlotte-based company employs 25 people and does work on dams around the world.

Glenn moved his business from Florida to North Carolina 10 years ago. But if the State of North Carolina is successful in its effort to takeover Alcoa’s hydroelectric business along the Yadkin River, Glenn has told Gov. Perdue he will relocate his business to South Carolina.

“I have been in North Carolina for 10 years and enjoy doing business here. But I am troubled by efforts to take a privately-owned business like the Yadkin Project and believe it will result in fewer business opportunities for business owners like me,” said Glenn.

Through his business, Glenn has frequently worked in South America during the past 20 years and says he has seen this type of activity before. Glenn was working on the Guri Dam in the eastern region of Venezuela when Hugo Chavez was undertaking the acquisition of the country’s private industry.

“It started very small just like the forced acquisition of Alcoa’s Yadkin projects and ended up with a country that is now state run and has evolved from a healthy democracy to an almost certain dictatorship,” Glenn said. “During that time, Chavez was using terms such as ‘this would be best for the citizens,’ these companies are ‘sending profits overseas,’ and so forth. These exact phrases are now being used by politicians in North Carolina.”

Alcoa is fighting efforts by the state government to take the hydroelectric business it started in North Carolina in 1915.

“The government is trying to take our business and that’s an unprecedented attack on our private property rights. North Carolina doesn’t simply want to take our license away. It wants to take our dams and the land around them,” said Gene Ellis, a relicensing consultant for Alcoa.

A government takeover could cost North Carolina more than $500 million.

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