WASHINGTON - Congressman Barr released the following statement closure or conversion to natural gas of eight coal-fired power units in the southeast, including three in Kentucky:
"I was disappointed to learn that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced the closure or conversion to natural gas of eight coal-fired power units in the southeast, including three in Kentucky. Three of the four units at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Kentucky are to be replaced by a natural gas plant as part of TVA’s new initiative to reduce coal’s share of the Authority’s power portfolio from 38 percent – in line with coal’s share of the nation’s electricity generation – to just 20 percent over the next decade. According to the Kentucky Coal Association, the Paradise Fossil Plant burnt 6.15 million tons of mostly Kentucky coal last year, indirectly supporting many of the 13,000 Kentuckians employed in the coal industry and paying over $13.19 million in taxes to Muhlenberg County. The TVA acknowledges this decision will impact 200 of the 400 jobs there with layoffs or reassignments, likely reducing the local tax base.
"The TVA moved forward with this decision despite a letter from seven Kentucky legislators, which I was proud to join, urging TVA to allow Paradise to keep burning Kentucky coal. This latest action demonstrates that the assault on the way of life in our Commonwealth’s coal fields is not limited to the regulations of the EPA, but extends across the executive branch of the federal government. I will continue to fight these economically ruinous policies designed to keep Kentucky from mining, burning, or exporting our nation’s most abundant natural energy resource."