Trouble in Paradise as power plant faces an uncertain future, President Trump weighs in

Published: Feb. 9, 2019 at 9:47 PM CST
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The Tennessee Valley Authority, which has already shut down several coal-fired plants it once operated, may now close Paradise Coal Plant in Muhlenberg County.

A rally was held there Saturday to protest the possible shut down of the plant.

"It is very much meaningful to me because it supplied not only my family but a lot of my friends," said Charles Perry, Paradise retiree.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is considering closing the last of three coal-fired units at its giant Paradise power plant in Muhlenberg County.

"I'm afraid that a lot of them don't realize what this means up here in Kentucky," said Perry.

The Paradise Fossil Plant is a dual coal-fired and natural gas power plant, and now it is facing an uncertain future.

"I'm a TVA retiree, but I have still family and friends working at the TVA paradise plant," Perry said.

Charles Perry attended the rally in Central City on Saturday. He's put 33 years in at the plant.

"It's going to affect everyone and a lot of those friends and family, I have right here," Perry said.

"It's going to be devastating this area," he added.

Perry went on to say, "Because of funds not coming from the state, if they lose these jobs and they lose this plant and your in-tax revenues will not come to 39 different counties in this area. Muhlenberg County is one of the bigger ones."

Governor Bevin, along with representatives from the offices of Senator Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell spoke at the rally.

"They were there for the people, and that is what we need to be thinking about for the future," Perry said.

"I mean, the cost to a community is very high and when people leave because there isn't opportunity and when land values go down, that's what pays for the school system, it becomes this downward spiral," Governor Matt Bevin said.

Bevin urges the TVA to keep the plant in operation, citing the potential loss of jobs, but also the ease of supplying the plant with coal from just a few miles away.

"And it comes at a tremendous cost and there's no good reason for it, we have so much coal right here,' Bevin said.

"Hopefully, everyone's efforts here will pay off in the days ahead," added Perry.

He said the TVA is expected to make a decision on Thursday.

On Monday, President Donald Trump called for "serious consideration to all factors" before closing viable power plants like Paradise Coal Plant.