February 19, 2013
PDT Content Manager
PIKETON — Ohio State Senator Joseph Uecker of Ohio’s 14th District was in Pike County Feb. 15 to visit USEC’s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon.
“I was really impressed with the facilities and the technology there is a little above my understanding, but it is fascinating,” Uecker said. “What I gleaned from being there was that it is state-of-the-art uranium enrichment and it is somewhat unbelievable that President Obama refuses to be held to his campaign promise to help back the plant.”
Uecker was referring to the status of the $2 Billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for the American Centrifuge Project which has seemingly settled into perpetuity.
Even without the loan guarentee, USEC has continued work on the ACP through a $350 million partnership with the DOE on the RD&D (research, development and demonstration) project in hopes that the compiled data would prove the ACP’s domestic feasibility as an energy solution.
“There are just too many jobs left laying on the table not to give this a chance,” Uecker said. “There are jobs there and these are jobs that aren’t taking away from other Americans. It is bringing jobs back to the United States that used to be the leader (in this field).”
In December of 2012 U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman announced the Obama Administration’s budget would include $150 million in RD&D funds for the ACP for fiscal year 2013. The ACP project is projected to create some 4,000 jobs in southern Ohio.
Uecker said he shares in the frustation of southern Ohio residents concerning the lack of movement on the project, but he remains optimistic.
“I still remain hopeful. It’s pretty clear that we have the backing of our two U.S. Senators and all the congressmen in the Ohio delegation — all firmly back this,” Uecker said. “I guess you have to go all the way to the top and that is where it stops.”
Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 296, or firstname.lastname@example.org.