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Cedros Peninsula United challenges Alcoa
Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Posted by Fred Fisher

Alcoa and their partners, the NEC keep persisting that they have "been consulting with the public widely" regarding the planned Chatham/Cap-De-Ville Aluminum Smelter and Petro Chemical Industry complex. The citizens of T&T cannot let Alcoa get away with lies, misdirections and half-truths when it comes to this important national issue.

The truth is that Alcoa had not ever even placed one single advertisement, no matter how small, in any newspaper announcing a "public consultation". Sorry, Alcoa making a PowerPoint presentation at the Chamber of Commerce or at a Political party meeting is NOT a public consultation. Even consulting with so-called environmental organizations is NOT a public consultation. The majority of Trinidadians affected by your project are not environmentalists.

The truth is that Alcoa and the NEC are doing their very best to keep Trinidad in the dark about the planned mega complex. None of the important details on this venture have ever been disclosed. Why are there three EMA Applications for the exact plot of land on file, two by NEC and one by Alcoa? How much money is this project going to cost the tax payers? Are we subsidizing Alcoa's huge energy consumption with the T&Tec Rate Increase? What economic benefits will Trinidadians receive from this project? What safeguards do we have in place in case of a chemical spill or gas leak or even worse an explosion at the complex that effectively cuts off the entire population of the Peninsula from Healthcare, Schools, Banks etc.? How come Alcoa has dozens of criminal convictions for safety violations yet we should believe that this Trinidad smelter is the one that will do no harm whatsoever?

The Alcoa and NEC big shots are hiding behind "letters to the editor" and full page ads, and yet they refuse to answer just about any important question we put to them? Is that acceptable?

We are challenging Alcoa to publicly address Trinidad's concerns. Alcoa encourages public consultation? Prove it! We are challenging Alcoa and its partners, the NEC, to sponsor a publicly televised prime-time Town Hall Meeting on TV6 to address the concerns of the people of T&T and provide answers. If Alcoa's project is above board, then you have nothing to hide. Do you? We challenge you to a public debate; TV6 Prime Time, Live and Unedited. No fancy PowerPoint presentations, but answering the people's questions. Then, and only then will Trinidad know if we can trust Alcoa.

Fred Fisher is Head of Public Relations for the Cedros Peninsula.

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