Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Area Officials React to TVA Decision to Retire Two Units

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

© Copyright 2014 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 by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Owensboro Board of Commissioners Commission Meeting July 15, 2014

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/13/14) — The Owensboro Board of Commissioners will hold a Commission meeting at 5 p.m. (CST),… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 11, 2014 5509

Madisonville Kmart to Close in October

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 09, 2014 3903

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Alleged…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 09, 2014 3076

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 9,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 11, 2014 2920

Hopkins County Health Department Food…

in News by Lisa Miller
July 11, 2014 2413

Local Man Dies After Bike Collides With…

in Top Stories by Robert D. Littlepage

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 11, 2014 5509

Madisonville Kmart to Close in October

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 09, 2014 3903

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Alleged…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 09, 2014 3076

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 9,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 11, 2014 2413

Local Man Dies After Bike Collides With…

in Top Stories by Robert D. Littlepage
July 10, 2014 1762

UPDATED: MFD Battles Blaze on South…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 09, 2014 1137

Passport Health Plan Announces Contract…

in News by Jill J Bell
July 09, 2014 760

Owensboro Police Department Reports…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 732

Owensboro Police Department Reports…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 09, 2014 721

Edge Ice Center Offering Summertime…

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 10, 2014 701

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 09, 2014 1431

Business Spotlight - My Sister's Stuff

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 1333

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 12, 2014 645

July Chamber Meeting

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03