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Congressman James Comer

Representing the 1st District of Kentucky

Kentucky Delegation Strongly Opposes Possible Closure of Paradise Unit 3

December 4, 2018
Press Release

This morning, Congressman James Comer (KY-01) commented on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) decision to possibly close Unit 3 at the Paradise Fossil Plant near Drakesboro, Kentucky. This is the last operating coal-fired unit at the Muhlenberg County plant.

Congressman Comer stated, “I am very concerned following TVA’s announcement that it is seriously considering shutting down Unit 3. Retiring this last operating unit will have detrimental consequences for the local economy and folks in Muhlenberg County. This facility is simply too important in providing necessary, reliable energy and jobs for hard-working Kentuckians. I pledge to work with my colleagues in the federal delegation to see that TVA reconsiders this decision for the sake of our regional workforce and our important coal community.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Congressman Comer’s response to the announcement, commenting, “As a supporter of Kentucky coal, the decision by the TVA to possibly close the Paradise Plant Unit 3 is disturbing. I continue to be concerned with the TVA’s efforts to move away from coal.  This facility supports over a hundred jobs and helps provide affordable and reliable energy, which many Kentuckians rely on. The TVA’s mission includes improving the quality of life for the people they serve, promoting economic development, and delivering safe and reliable energy. As the TVA continues to weigh this decision, they should consider its negative impact on the people of this community. I will work with my colleagues to make sure the TVA understands the importance of this facility to Kentucky’s economy and the region’s workforce.”

Senator Rand Paul also offered his comments on the announcement, saying, “It is absolutely unacceptable that unelected government bureaucrats can single-handedly decide which types of energy Kentuckians’ hard-earned tax dollars should support and ultimately be allowed to determine the fate of entire local economies without any accountability. Not only are the livelihoods of the over 130 Kentuckians employed at Unit 3 at stake, but also at risk are the trucking companies who bring coal into the plant, as well as the many related businesses and industries in Muhlenberg County. While the need to maintain a diversified energy production fleet that is efficient and profitable is understandable, the federal government has no business picking winners and losers in Kentucky’s energy sectors. When I met with Kentucky State Representative Melinda Gibbons Prunty, community leaders, and other fellow Kentuckians in Central City in October, I listened to their concerns about Paradise and promised to advocate on their behalf, which is why I will be filing a comment to TVA’s draft Environmental Assessment and sending a letter to the TVA Board along with other members of the Kentucky delegation. I strongly urge all Kentuckians to join us in filing comments.”

TVA has prepared a comprehensive assessment to analyze the site-specific impacts of the potential retirement of Unit 3, which can be viewed here. Unit 3 became operational in 1970 and has a generating capacity of 1,150 megawatts, enough to supply more than 950 thousand homes. This is the last operating unit at Paradise Fossil Plant, as Units 1 and 2 were replaced with natural gas generation in Spring 2017.

To submit a comment on this matter, please visit this link to access TVA’s public comments form.