Upton Praises U.S. Department of Commerce Grant to Help Southwest Michigan Prepare for Closure of Palisades Nuclear Facility
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement today after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $969,261 grant to Southwestern Michigan Commission, Benton Harbor, Michigan to develop an economic strategy ahead of the closure of the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station in Covert, Michigan. This EDA grant will be matched with $242,316 in state and local funds.
“Palisades has been such a strong part of the fabric of our Southwest Michigan community since 1971. They’ve employed thousands of workers with good-paying jobs and financial security. It’s important we do not turn our backs on these hardworking folks now,” said Upton. “As the plant prepares to close in 2022, this EDA grant will help ensure a smooth transition, safely shut down the plant’s daily operations, and create new jobs in the process. I want to especially thank them for their longtime economic and philanthropic commitment to our corner of the state over the past several decades.”
During his tenure, Upton has visited the Palisades plant a number of times to see their work firsthand and emphasize the role of nuclear power in strengthening American energy independence and producing a reliable and affordable energy supply for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders. In total, Palisades generates enough energy annually to power 800,000 homes across Southwest Michigan.
This project is being funded under EDA’s Assistance to Nuclear Closure Communities program which seeks to alleviate the significant impact of sudden job losses and reductions of the local tax base on communities across the nation – including in Southwest Michigan – due to nuclear plant closures.