Contract worth the celebration

Published 7:11 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By Staff
The folks in Mobile and south Alabama may be among the only ones celebrating the awarding of an Air Force tanker contract to Northrup Grumman.
The 1,500 jobs that will be created are a life-changing event not only for Mobile but for the entire region.
Suppliers that will come to the area as a result of the new plant could easily locate in Escambia County or nearby communities. The opportunities for the region are endless.
But it seems that all Boeing and its supporters taste are sour grapes over the deal - especially since they were apparently the favored would-be contractor for the tankers.
And some of those supporters - including presidential candidate Barack Obama - have turned the deal into even more of a political football.
U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. - who could understandably be upset over the project because his home state lost out - blamed U.S. Sen. John McCain because he exposed corruption on the part of Boeing in a previous deal to lease 100 tankers to the Air Force.
Since when did exposing corruption - and possibly saving taxpayer money - become a bad thing?
Obama, meanwhile, criticized the awarding of the contract because it went to a “foreign” company, EADS, which is based in France.
But these tankers will be made in Mobile - last we checked, in America - by American workers, whose new jobs will benefit the U.S. economy.
While Boeing is almost certain to mount a protest over the contract, we hope that the controversy will die down and people will be as happy for Mobile and south Alabama as we are for ourselves.
Mobile and Northrup Grumman won, fair and square, no matter what the sour grape connoisseurs say.