Corporate spin breaks into a trot

Letter to the Editor of Surf Coast Times, published on 17 July 2014

By Andrew Laird

The corporate spin that Alcoa trotted out in your article last week about its sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions at Anglesea was breathtaking. A few facts:

• As your article correctly noted, Alcoa’s own 2003 plan stated “From a base year of 2000, Anglesea Power Station and other locations must achieve: …. 60% reduction in SO2 emissions by 2010.”

• The Alcoa spokesman did not dispute that Anglesea’s SO2 emissions actually went up from a base figure of 32,899 tonnes to 39,000 tonnes in 2012-2013 (an increase of 6,101 tonnes)

• An Alcoa consultant found in 2008 that Alcoa’s Anglesea SO2 emissions could be significantly reduced by installing proven SO2 scrubbing technology, however Alcoa has failed to invest the money in Anglesea to install this technology and now wants to sell and leave

Apparently Alcoa thinks that Anglesea residents should be grateful that it allegedly reduced its world-wide SO2 emissions by 62% by 2010 while spewing out 39,000,000 kg of the known respiratory irritant (the equal third highest in Australia) in close proximity to the Anglesea primary school and homes. People are not stupid and they can see through public relations gloss. They are also entitled to ask why Anglesea residents should be treated differently to people elsewhere in the world.


Andrew Laird

surf coast times

» Surf Coast Times 17 July 2014:

The letter was a response to an article in the same newspaper the week before:


» Surf Coast Times 10 July 2014:
Alcoa rejects claim of emission target failure