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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Newark wasn't available

Hey, Portland has landed another "green" industry!

Nothing says "green" like a battery manufacturing plant.

Glad I don't live anywhere near that baby. (Do I?)

Comments (14)

I smell a common stock offering.

Don't worry, the batteries will only go into green devices, like solar powered flashlights and Priuses. That makes it green, right?

Portland should fund more research promoting the ozone hole scare. Our new Zinc powered electric cars could be mandated to dispense sunscreen.

Actually, there is/was a battery plant on St Helens Rd with lots of lead, acid and other noxious stuff slated for cleanup. It was a real mess, and when I went in there, I had to don on a pair of rubber boots which could not leave the property.

It was creepy, and it didn't smell good.

The story says that ReVolt hasn't picked a site for its manufacturing location yet (or R&D, for that matter).

Site location should be entertaining.

There is an old battery plant site in Sherwood, right next door to a former tannery site. No one is brave enough to build anything on either of those parcels.

On second thought, the St. Helens site may be a recycling dump, not manufacturing.

If it happens, it won't be in Portland. It's a water and resource intensive operation. That's why Intel's in Hillsboro.

Battery manufacturing is largely automated--it's the only way to turn a profit and get the necessary quality. So, claiming "175 jobs" is the usual nonsense, without any basis in reality. The company has 34 employees worldwide--the largest group being marketing specialists; it's not going to grow to six times its size by air dropping offices in Portland. Oh, and:

the company hasn't made anything yet.

Did I mention most batteries are manufactured overseas, because of incredibly cheap access to natural resources?

And the "greenness" of it? C'mon. It's a process that, like others, relies heavily on long-term extractive processes (metals mining), and spews effluent that's expensive to clean up and that companies bargain heavily to get environmental exceptions on. *And* it monopolizes more of the finite water supply--which we already experience shortages of locally.

And the last so called (solar) green savior we bragged about? Moved away.


Before that? A fervently promised biotechnology boom and "regional hub". Word has it you can get a condo in the Biotechnology Hub, cheap. Ask Homer Williams.

Corporations, like johns, go where the prostitutes are. Keep sellin' it, Portland.

My mistake: *250* jobs in Portland, and *175* jobs later in Oregon.

I'm thinking Dunthorp, or maybe Eastmoreland, Lake "O" for a site

Yes, by all means we must stop them. We don't want any new jobs or industry here, at least not while we can keep daydreaming about being the semiconductor capitol, or perhaps the bio-pharma hq, or the wind power center of the world

Dean, the skepticism is warranted considering the track record of the green jobs movement here.

You've got to ask yourself why in the world would ReVolt move to Oregon? Without massive subsidies, it's absurdly expensive to do business here. Taxes are high and services are marginal. It's far from anywhere that cars are assembled, and there are few if any similar companies to collaborate with. The part of our workforce that is educated is heavy on humanities and soft sciences, and light on engineering and hard sciences.

It makes no sense for ReVolt to move here, so why would they do it?

If history is any guide, I wouldn't be surprised if ReVolt got free land and a building, millions in grant money, tens of millions more in low-interest, unsecured, no-recourse loans, plus tax credits of every variety. I also wouldn't be surprised if ReVolt takes all these goodies, distributes our money to its management, and then leaves town in a few years.

Instead of going through this farce yet again, our government should be working to help us be a world-class center for music, great beer and liquors, organic food, art, design, architecture, furniture making, outdoor sports, and things like this. These businesses match our natural strengths.

Also, we should be working to retain the industrial companies that we already have. It's a slap in the face to every industrial business in Oregon to read about ReVolt getting paid tens of millions to visit for a couple years, when everyone else is struggling. Has anyone seen all the for lease and for sale signs in Portland's industrial areas lately? At least 25% of the buildings are available. A mass exodus of industry is taking place in Oregon.

But at least we will have ReVolt around for a year or two.

ReVolt... that sure is a catchy name.

James got it partially right, the state government's goal and wet dream is to turn Oregon into a state park and all jobs will be in government.

As typical with the O, it's unclear just how much taxpayer subsidy ReVolt (if they really come here) will get.

Read's article states $40 Million in federal battery research and production grants, then cites $30 Million from the US Department of Energy and whatever from Oregon business energy tax credits. Probably some Lottery economic dollars will be thrown in too with some free land, low interest loans and employee training dollars. On top of that whatever local city that might get the company will throw in another $10 Million plus TriMet tickets.

The math shows that potentially the taxpayers could be spending $400,000 dollars for each hoped-for 250 employees-and that number is not even guaranteed.
What a deal.

My business gets none of this, but pays for it. I'm disgusted and tired of being in business in this city for 40 years and getting very little but paying big time.

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