TVA Wants to Close a Costly, Unreliable Coal Plant. Trump and Kentucky Politicians Are Fighting It.
The old Paradise plant is among the least reliable coal power plants in the country. TVA says it isn’t needed, but Republicans are demanding it keep burning coal.
The U.S. president has joined Kentucky’s governor and the coal state’s U.S. senators in trying to pressure the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep a 49-year-old coal-fired power plant operating, even though the nation’s largest public electric utility has concluded that the plant is unreliable, no longer needed, and too expensive to repair and operate.
Shutting the Paradise Fossil Plant down would avoid customers having to pay for the aging plant’s frequent repairs. It also would reduce emissions that cause lung-damaging smog by as much as 11.5 percent across TVA’s seven-state system, and cut its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4 percent, the federally owned utility said in an assessment released Monday.
But none of that is stopping Gov. Matt Bevin and other top elected officials from this coal state from fighting to keep the plant’s last coal burners turned on. President Donald Trump added more pressure Monday with a tweet in defense of coal.
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