Re: “BPA can’t make sweetheart deal to restart Intalco plant at expense of public utilities” [March 17, Opinion]:
The International Association of Machinists District 751 supports the restart of the Intalco Works smelter in Ferndale.
A power purchase agreement for Intalco is not a “sweetheart deal.” It is an investment in the public good. Bonneville Power Administration has broad discretion in negotiating a power purchase agreement with Blue Wolf Capital and should use that discretion to ensure that Intalco has the reliable, clean electricity that it needs to reopen.
Reopening Intalco would generate significant economic, national security and environmental benefits for our region and the country. First, it will restore the more than 700 high-paying union jobs that were eliminated when the plant shuttered operations in 2020. Second, restarting Intalco — the last remaining smelter west of the Mississippi River and the largest by capacity — will provide a reliable domestic supply of green aluminum for years to come.
Domestic aluminum production has plummeted over the past several decades, and the U.S. is increasingly reliant on imported aluminum from countries like China and Russia. A robust and stable supply of domestic aluminum will reduce the risk of supply-chain disruptions. This is especially important for the aerospace industry, which relies heavily on aluminum and supports more than 250,000 jobs in Washington.
Donny Donovan, Legislative & Political Director, IAM District 751, Seattle