Friday, May 24, 2013

Bad Jobs News From Paducah

"For 60 years, Paducah employees and the community have supported our national security and energy security. For now, at least, that mission is ending, but we are committed to working with the community and DOE for the smoothest possible transition that positions the plant site for its future role in the area's economy."


  1. Here is part of a statement from Sen. McConnell, Sen. Paul, and Rep. Whitfield on May 13:

    "Last year we fought hard to save the federal government money and preserve 1,200 jobs at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Now it is time for DOE to come up with a long-term plan that will maximize job retention and growth for the foreseeable future. We refuse to stand idly by while DOE runs out the clock on potential private sector job investment that would create jobs here in Paducah.

    "We also made clear to the Department that we will refuse any proposal to move the depleted uranium tails out of state, which would only transfer economic development that may result from them elsewhere. We will continue to urge DOE to come up with a solution that is in the best interest of the people of Paducah and the taxpayers as a whole."

  2. Here are some reactions to the DOE's decision to shutter the plant, as reported by WPSD-TV:

    "Union Vice President Jim Key tells Local 6 that cleanup and shutdown work will continue through June 2014. Key says that no employees have been sent home yet and that the shutdown will be a gradual process, with layoffs likely beginning in August.

    Key provided this statement to Local 6 regarding the DOE's decision not to extend operations at the plant:

    'I am disturbed and troubled by the fact that the government has chosen to shut down the sole remaining U.S. government-owned uranium enrichment plant, thereby negating our ability to produce a domestic supply of uranium and placing us in a position to rely on other foreign energy needs without a replacement facility in place.'

    U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, released their own statement about the DOE's decision.

    'We are disappointed the Obama Administration and DOE were unable to come to an agreement to extend operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant for another four months. We will work to ensure that DOE fulfills its responsibility to sufficiently cleanup the site and determine a long-term solution to utilize the facility and its assets. We believe there are proposals that were submitted to DOE that offer promising economic development and job creation potential for the community and we expect DOE to move quickly on its decision.'

    McConnell, Paul and Whitfield have requested a meeting with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to discuss the matter.

    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear also released a statement regarding the DOE's decision. The governor's full statement is below:

    'We are disappointed in the Department of Energy’s decision not to extend the operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant. Even though we have expected the closure for some time, the news is still painful. We know there are 1,100 very talented and hardworking people at that facility, and we had hoped that an alternative might have been found to keep it open.

    As disheartening as this news is, we pledge our full assistance and support to the employees and community to absorb this loss and find new opportunities for those skilled and experienced workers. Our state’s Rapid Response teams, which help employees in the transition to seeking new work, are immediately available. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with local and regional economic development teams to attract new jobs to this area. Further, we will redouble our work with our Congressional delegation, DOE, and private sector partners to develop a new future for the site and the entire community.

    Paducah is a strong, resilient city full of dependable, creative people – we are confident that those characteristics will carry citizens through this difficult time.'"

  3. I certainly agree with Gov. Beshear that "Paducah is a strong, resilient city full of dependable, creative people." I just wish that Paducah got a little bit more help from the rest of the world, and wasn't so dependent on its own efforts.