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Perdue granted last-minute chance to oppose Alcoa license on Yadkin

Federal regulators have granted Governor Bev Perdue a last-minute opportunity to intervene in Alcoa's quest for a hydropower license on the Yadkin River. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Alcoa is near the end of a six-year process to renew its license on the Yadkin, and the deadline to intervene was two years ago. Governor Perdue didn't file her motion until three weeks ago, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted her request for an emergency hearing anyway. "I was tremendously pleased to see that our request was granted," says Perdue. "I really feel strongly that in North Carolina, we need to be sure that the water sources that we are allowing to be controlled, if you will, by a private industry, produces something for North Carolina." Perdue wants the state to be given control of Alcoa's hydropower license and dams for use in creating new jobs. Alcoa has vowed to fight the state's attempt to "forcibly seize its privately-owned hydropower business." The company once employed 900 workers at a smelter powered by four dams on the Yadkin. But the smelter was closed in 2002 and Alcoa now sells the electricity for a profit. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did not announce a date for the emergency hearing.