tva 300WESTERN KENTUCKY (11/14/13) — The reaction to TVA's decision to shut down two major coal-fired units at its Paradise plant in Muhlenberg County left many in shock Thursday. Soon after the decision was made to retire two of three units, and bring in natural gas units, area politicians let their voices be heard.

Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive Rick Newman serves in the county hardest hit by the cut backs. He has no illusions about what the loss of the two units jeopardizing the county's coal mine jobs.

"Anytime you lose the amount of jobs we're going to lose, it has a very long term impact,” said Newman. “Coal severance revenues will decline. Plus other surrounding counties will be affected. On the positive side, we're going to get a $1.2 billion gas-fired (electrical production). Plus, KU will be building a $700 million dollar plant. That's $2 billion in construction. But I keep thinking about those many long term coal-based jobs that will be gone forever."

State Rep. Brent Yonts,(D) House District 15, represents Muhlenberg County, where the TVA Paradise Plant has been a mainstay for well-paying jobs for decades. Yonts drove to Oxford, Miss., for the TVA Board meeting to remind them once more of the impact this change will have.

Yonts told Surfky News afer that meeting that he believes the board understood the consequence.

"What they said was they had to shut down units one and two due to environmental regulations,” said Yonts. “They do plan to keep unit three running, which is the biggest. But the bottom line is, at least 200 current TVA employees will be gone. Their average salary is around $74,000 a year. That comes to $15 million spent in the area's economy annually. When the gas-fired plant gets going, there will be about 675 to 700 coal miners out of work for good. That means a total of at least 2,500 to 3,000 people will lose their jobs. That doesn't even include the coal severance funds we'll lose. If you add it all up, that's a $300 million impact on the Muhlenberg and surrounding counties."

Webster County Judge Executive James R. Townsend told Surfky News that this decision will not just affect Muhlenberg County, but counties throughout western Kentucky including Webster.

"Webster County will be affected by the TVA decision, without a doubt,” he said. “We have workers at TVA and many coal miners who help supply the plant. I'm also concerned about eastern Kentucky. They now has around 5,000 coal miners laid off. And, if you look at the national scene, there is talk of shipping coal from
the Western U.S. to China."

"When you start pushing everything toward natural gas, (natural) gas will go up. It's all a matter of supply and demand. It's a fact, gas will go up." he added.

Yonts said that this decision is pretty much irreversible.

"There is very little that can be done to reverse this decision. Getting a $1.2 billion natural gas plant is a nice consolation prize, but it's not a very happy time for those 3,000 people who will now be out of good-paying jobs." he said.

For the original story, click here.

SurfKY News
Paul McRee

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7339

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 6575

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6438

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 4185

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 3965

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11260

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 8996

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 31, 2015 1304

Hot Button Item Draws Hanson Crowd to Zoning,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 1214

Rods for Relay Raises Funds for ACS Relay for Life

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1149

YMCA Summer Food Service Program

by Kelly Forbes
May 31, 2015 983

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 953

Survivors, Caregivers, Supporters Gather for…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 838

Authorities Discover Meth Lab While Assisting…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 716

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
May 30, 2015 679

Whitfield Announces Congressional Art Contest…

by Ed Whitfield
June 01, 2015 662

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 598

LG&E and KU Unveil New Outage Texting Option…

by LG&E and KU News