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TVA CEO: New Obama Rules on Coal Could Speed Up Decision On Closing Widows Creek

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STEVENSON, Ala. (WHNT) – Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Bill Johnson says new rules announced by President Obama on Monday could speed up a decision on the future of its Widows Creek power plant.

In a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon, Johnson said TVA officials are still looking over the rules which seek to reduce carbon emissions across the United States. Many believe carbon is contributing to man-made global warming or climate change.  Widows Creek is a coal-fired plant that produces electricity and delivers it to the TVA grid.

Most of the units at Widows Creek are already idle.   Two are still in operation and TVA had already announced one of those could be shut down in the near future.   The future of Widows Creek is something that concerns Jackson County leaders.

“The main concern obviously is the jobs we will lose once that has closed down completely,” said Matthew Hodges, County Commission Chairman.  “Another concern is that is an asset for TVA currently and what will happen with that asset once it does close?”

Johnson says TVA hit its peak carbon output back in 1995.  He says they hope to cut their emissions by 40 percent by 2020.  He says the new rules will put an increased focus on hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants.

A new unit is scheduled to go online at the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee sometime in 2015.   He said it will likely lead to a reevaluation of the proposed nuclear plant at Bellefonte, also in Jackson County.   It was originally built in the 1980s, but was mothballed before ever producing any electricity.  Then in the mid-2000s, it was announced that construction would begin to complete the facility only to be later put on hold again by the economic downturn.

Bellefonte is located near the town of Hollywood in Jackson County.   Widows Creek is near the town of Stevenson.  It was originally constructed in the late 1950s.


  • Nuclear Mike

    For those of you who voted in a man as POTUS whose buddies put together the Carbon Exchange XX Bank in Chicago…you are about to pay with your jobs and electric bills too expensive for many more to be able to pay in the next few years…his use of the EPA Clean Air Act is absurd as he is trying to make his last years of executive powers a nightmare that will follow for many many many years as the Carbon Exchange rakes in the $billions$ for his shares held in trust.

  • American

    Bellfonte is an out dated money pitt ! 34 year old nuclear power plant to start up ? Come on . What a joke.

  • Kong

    I guess we don’t have to wait for the Chinese to shut down our power plants.Al Gore and his global warming agenda will do it for them. Never mind Al Gores utility bill was 12 times that of the average American family or that he went on his crusades on a private jet. It is sad to see a cheap clean source of power taken away.These plants scrub the air, no more acid rain of the 1970’s to deal with , yes that was taken care of. If you want to play on your smart phones,iPads and watch your tv then you will be paying more and I’m sure some new taxes are on the way too!!!

  • Brian

    Is the sky falling yet? I actually believe in reality based decisions. Climate change is real. Stop being winers and selfish. I’m not willing to risk the future for a few bucks a month in increased utility bills. Everyone panicked about acid rain regulations too.

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