McConnell urges TVA to keep coal-fired plant

FRANKFORT, KY. (AP) -- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has met with Tennessee Valley Authority President William Johnson to seek continued operation of the Paradise Fossil Plant, a coal-fired generator in Drakesboro.

TVA is reviewing the future of the Paradise plant.

McConnell said closure of the plant, which burned more than 6 million tons of Kentucky coal last year, would hurt the economy.

Most of Kentucky's federal delegation co-signed a letter to Johnson, telling him it's important that TVA maintain an "all-inclusive energy portfolio." For that reason, they urged him to keep the coal-fired plant running and continue to purchase coal mined in Kentucky.

The plant has about 400 full-time employees. McConnell said thousands of other jobs are dependent on the plant, including those of coal miners.

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