Congressman Tom Reed recently spent time in Chautauqua County discussing his support for the proposed $700 million project to convert the Dunkirk NRG plant from coal to natural gas. The NRG plant, which is seeking to fully convert to natural gas, is slowing operations as they wait for approval from the state.
"The NRG plant is a vital part of the northern Chautauqua County economy," said Reed. "Allowing NRG to upgrade to natural gas will ensure its facility is state-of-the art and able to continue providing customers with low-cost energy. There is a tremendous amount of demand for power from the plant and demand continues to grow."
Congressman Reed is in touch with NRG officials in support of their plan to convert from coal to natural gas in order to keep the plant operational. In addition to the jobs that would stay in Dunkirk with the upgrade, Reed says that more work and jobs would be made available to local contractors while the plant undergoes improvements.
"My opponent adamantly opposes natural gas development of any kind in our country. What that says to the 160 employees and families who depend on NRG for jobs and livelihoods is 'you're just not important enough.' Without the NRG facility, the region's property tax base will be significantly damaged. The last thing our communities need is another closed plant we need to be looking for opportunities to open doors to growth, not close them. We need to be proactive and take preventive measures so that NRG can make the transition and preserve hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.
"Natural gas development will help to move Chautauqua County and the entire Southern Tier into the future. I stand ready to support NRG and its employees to keep the plant operational and see their upgrades are made a reality."