gov on tvaMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (2/10/19) — Gov. Matt Bevin joined hundreds of supporters Saturday to send a message to the TVA Board of Directors — "Please keep Paradise Unit 3 open."

Supporters, workers, business leaders and citizens stood in the crisp morning air at Paradise Park in Powderly for the rally.

State Rep. Melinda Prunty said the purpose of the rally was to, "focus on getting the word out of our concern and support in keeping this unit open and operational and continuing to use coal as its power source."

Bevin said the nation is blessed with an abundance of energy that is often taken for granted.

"Coal is the No. 1 contributor to the production of energy in the world and will continue to be in the lifetimes of everyone standing here now," said Bevin.

The governor called on some children in the crowd who were holding posters asking for Paradise's last coal unit to remain open. After the children took the stage, Bevin said he wanted everyone to see them to understand, "I want you to appreciate the value of why this is bigger than just us."

Superintendent of Muhlenberg Schools Robbie Davis also talked about effects the closure would have on the school system and community.

kids"My dad was a coal miner — I've grown up knowing that having TVA in our community is a big deal economically," said Davis. "If Unit 3 closes, it will impact not only our school system's revenues, but will also impact our entire community and region — coal miners, truckers, welders, pipefitters, gas stations and the retail, service and restaurant industries, who serve those people. If we lose our TVA revenue and tax base, it will affect our kids' education options and pathways that we can offer them. If we lose these options, then we lose our kids — many will move out of the area. And, if we lose kids out of our school system, we lose state revenue."

Muhlenberg Judge-Executive Curtis McGehee compared the closure to a storm.

"Closure of Paradise Unit 3 would be like an economic hurricane," he said. "This is not just a Muhlenberg County issue, it is a regional issue."

Employees and families of KenAmerican Resources, Muhlenberg County Coal Company and the Western Kentucky Coal Company were also among those rallying in support of Unit 3 Saturday. A spokesman for the company said employees and their families are concerned about the damages the proposed closure would have on their familes and the quality of life for everyone in the region.


Sally Moore

SurfKY News Reporter



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