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McConnell Calls on TVA to Keep Paradise Coal-Fired Plant Open


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) President and CEO William Johnson to urge TVA to maintain its current operations at the Paradise Fossil Plant, a coal-fired facility in Drakesboro, Kentucky. During the Wednesday meeting, Senator McConnell said that with the upcoming retirement of Kentucky Utilities' Green River plant in 2016, coupled with a potential closure of Paradise, Muhlenberg County "just can't take any more hits." Johnson responded that many factors have contributed to the TVA's decision to review the future of the Paradise, citing one reason as the current regulatory environment. Johnson said he would take McConnell's concerns into account while making any decisions with regards to the Paradise plant.

Following the meeting, Senator McConnell also decided to send a letter (attached) to Johnson reiterating his concerns and calling on TVA to keep the facility open. Joining Senator McConnell on the letter were Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Ed Whitfield, Congressman Hal Rogers, Congressman Brett Guthrie, Congressman Andy Barr and Congressman Thomas Massie.

In the letter they wrote, "It has been brought to our attention that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is weighing several options that would alter future electricity generation at its Paradise Fossil Plant… As supporters of Kentucky coal and coal utilization, we urge the TVA to maintain its current operations at Paradise with the continued use of coal for electricity generation."

"We are well aware of the pressure that public utilities face from the Obama Administration to transition from using coal to alternative sources of energy. However, we would like to remind the TVA of the importance of maintaining an all-inclusive energy portfolio. To allow a historically abundant and proven resource, such as coal, to fall by the wayside would ultimately threaten our energy independence. Accordingly, we request the TVA maintain existing coal-fired operations--that utilize Kentucky-produced coal stocks--as your agency considers alternative sources in conjunction with coal for electricity generation," they added.

Read the text of full letter below:

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