Sunday, October 9, 2011
Here’s some interesting Bastrop county history from 1999 when Alcoa appeared on the scene to exercise their mineral rights to stripmine lignite in northern Bastrop county for their smelters in Rockdale. BCEN (Bastrop County Environmental Network) encouraged the Commissioners to stand up to Alcoa by passing a resolution opposing stripmining. There was a precedent from a similar action taken by the Central Texas Lignite Watch maybe a decade earlier. Judge McDonald, who had just taken office for the first time a few months earlier, was promised that if the Commissioners passed it, we would get support from the community. Well, they did and we did!
Three full-page community support statements were published in the summer of 1999 in Bastrop, Smithville and Elgin. More and more businesses and entities signed-on with each one. By the end of the project, all the City Councils, Bastrop and Elgin Chambers, Bastrop EDC etc. had joined the party with over 800 signing on. The ‘ads’ were all paid for by donations from those who participated.
Those were the days . . .
‘Neighbors vs. Neighbors’ by Michael King, Austin Chronicle, July 27, 2001
‘Coal Hard Cash’ by Nate Blakeslee, Austin Chronicle, September 3, 1999
‘Aluminum’s hidden costs’ by Tom Dureka and Ann Mesrobian, Earth Island Journal, Fall 1999