Thursday, August 14, 2008

Foreign investment in Arizona

The front page story in today's Tucson Citizen describes one man's concerns over the proposed Rosemont copper mine. It's a good story by reporter Brad Poole, but what caught my attention was one of the sidebars which listed Pros and Cons of the mine. One pro is that "the mine would bring about 500 jobs to southern Arizona over its 20-year life. The average pay would be about $60,000 per year." One con is that "the mine would be owned by a Canadian company [Augusta Resources], meaning profits would leave the country with the copper."

In other words, foreign investment is not wanted in Arizona.

That seems to be a direct contradiction to the State's active efforts to attract "new jobs and hundreds of business relocations and expansions in Arizona through a global campaign aimed at diversifying the State economy." [emphasis added]

Is the Citizen raising similar alarms over the Spanish company Abengoa, which hopes to build the world's largest solar energy plant (dubbed Solana) near Gila Bend? Note that there are growing concerns about the environmental impacts of massive solar plants covering large tracts of land all over the West. Should we presume that Abengoa's profits will leave the country for Spain? So far I haven't heard anyone complain that the Solana plant should be opposed because a foreign company is behind it. But we have to be careful what we wish for. Other foreign companies looking to invest in Arizona might view the anti-foreign reaction to Augusta Resources as symptomatic of a deeper seated xenophobia that could turn on them.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:46 AM

    in this day and age, the US better protect its interests, even in the open spaces of dessert that we think are worthless.