Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cedros Peninsula United responds to Wade Hughes

April 1, 2006

Mr. Hughes’ editorial letter of Friday, March 31st entitled “Full information flow from Alcoa” is an attempt to portray Alcoa as a reasonable, beneficent and concerned multi-national company. Such a portrayal, in the eyes of Cedrosians, is both presumptuous and premature. The issues which we have raised and those which we still have to raise, in our estimation, can best be aired in a public debate with adequate media coverage. We have, time and again, intimated this to the Alcoa team. Cedros Peninsula United and the other affiliated groups have taken this as a policy decision. We want the nation to hear what we are saying and what we are being told. We do not think that we have anything to hide. This is merely a prudent safeguard which will prevent our utterances from being manipulated on Alcoa’s website. This is a reasonable position.
Such a public debate could clear the air on some matters in which the full information flow has been obstructed, viz
(1) the price at which natural gas will be supplied;
(2) a clear unequivocal answer on the disposal of spent pot linings;
(3) why should such a caring company like Alcoa build its aluminum smelter on top of an aquifer which supplies drinking water to thousands of residents in the southern peninsula,
(4) how does one justify building one of the larges smelters in the world in a country with a population of about 213 persons per sq mile,
(5) how, in good conscience (if it exists), can a company choose what is probably the healthiest environment in a polluted island to pollute it with a constant flow of harmful emissions,
(6) why would you expect us to believe that a company which has been charged for very many environmental violations overseas would suddenly become ‘green’ in our context?
(7) Why do you continue to accuse us of using ‘old’ information when we are in possession of the latest information available?
These are a few of the issues we would like to have cleared in a public setting.
N.B. we are correcting a bit of wrong information at the same time. The Alcoa site does not require the removal of churches and places of worship. The proposed Chatham Industrial Estate, sneaked in on us by the N.E.C. on the other side of the main road, is the culprit in this regard. We are against the smelter but we cannot make you bear the blame for the wrong doing of others.

Fr. Wilfred John
Cedros Peninsula United


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