trump tweetKENTUCKY (2/12/19) — President Donald Trump has added his support to the list of officials asking the TVA board to not close the last coal burning unit at the Paradise plant.

“Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!” Trump tweeted yesterday afternoon.

TVA also responded to the President via Twitter late yesterday afternoon saying: "This is our response to the President's tweet earlier this evening: Mr. President, coal is an important part of TVA's power generation mix and we will give serious consideration to all factors as we make this decision."

Also yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a plea via video to the Tennessee Valley Authority board to keep the coal unit open.

“Time and again, the people of Kentucky have loudly spoken in support of coal. I’m proud to join them today in opposing the closing of Paradise Unit 3,” McConnell said in the video.

Earlier in the week, U.S. Rep. James Comer addressed the board in a video asking them to vote against closure of the fossil plant.

“Unit 3 directly employs 131 Kentuckians and supports approximately 135 Kentucky coal miners who supply necessary fuel that powers hundreds of thousands of homes in surrounding communities. Your own environmental assessment claims that these workers could find other jobs, but then admits those jobs would pay as much as $29,000 less than they’re earning today. The assessment calls this economic impact 'minor'. I’ll tell you today that for my constituents, that loss of jobs and income is anything but minor,” Comer’s video said.

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, state Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, business leaders, officials, coal miners, truckers, Muhlenberg Superintendent of Schools Robbie Davis, students and other supporters held a rally Saturday at Paradise Park in Powderly. Hundreds braved the brisk temperatures to show support for keeping Unit 3 open.

Prunty devoted much of her weekly Legislator’s Column to concerns about the detrimental effects the closure would have on the local economy and jobs that could be lost.

“While it is a federal issue, I have advocated and continue to advocate all that I can. At this point the TVA board needs to hear from those that will be directly affected if Unit 3 shuts down; the employees and their families, the vendors and other businesses directly affected, and anyone related to or affected by the school system who benefits directly from TVA in lieu of tax dollars,” said Prunty in her column.

There is a public comment time for the TVA board Feb. 13 in the Chattanooga, Tennessee home office, and the board will vote Feb. 14.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director

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