February 14, 2019 by- John Blair, valleywatch.net editor
The Tennessee Valley Authority board shunned the directions it was given earlier in the week by both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump and voted 6-1 to retire the incredibly filthy Paradise 3 power plant near Drakesboro, KY. Paradise will shutter its 971 megawatt unit by December of next year.
Paradise has been a thorn in the side of Valley Watch since our inception and was once a 2650 MW behemoth that sent its massive levels of pollution for hundreds of miles whichever way the wind blew. At one time, the plant was the largest emitter of toxic chemicals in the entire southeast region of the USA. In addition, Paradise was responsible for decimating hundreds of acres of farmland around the area by Peabody Energy’s Sinclair Mine that provided the high sulfur coal consumed by the plant for almost 60 years. Later, the mine property was used to store huge quantities of coal waste.
Just this week, President Trump sought to influence the TVA Board’s decision by seeking to keep Unit 3 open indefinitely for the benefit of his friend Bob Murray of Murray Energy who supplies coal to the facility. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader made a similar request. but apparently neither were persuasive enough for the Board to follow.
This action will certainly result in the long term improvement of health for residents of the tri-state since this was one of the largest polluters in the region for decades.
Valley Watch has long sought the closure of this huge polluter and we celebrate this as yet another victory in our effort “to protect public health and the environment of the lower Ohio River Valley,” our stated mission.