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.

Most Read This Week

August 31, 2015 6709

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 5498

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
August 30, 2015 3934

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2756

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 2526

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 19138

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 12076

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 02, 2015 5498

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
September 02, 2015 2756

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2252

UPDATE: Missing Teen Located

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 2043

Woman Allegedly Passed Out at Wheel Charged with…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1549

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - September 2, 2015

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1047

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 1000

Gov. Beshear's Statement on County Clerks,…

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 931

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 860

Blood Drive Boosts Blood Bank Deposits

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 854

GPD Conducting Safety Checkpoints

by SurfKY News