Ohio lawmakers send Energy Secretary a letter urging him to save jobs in Piketon

Ohio’s congressional delegation has sent a letter to the Secretary of Energy urging him to continue the cleanup of a former Energy Department site in Piketon.

Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and 13 of the 16 members of the U.S. House delegation Monday sent a letter asking the Department of Energy to include enough funding in its fiscal year 2017 budget to maintain current employment levels on the cleanup work.

Workers at Piketon – as well as at a nearby proposed uranium enrichment plant operated by a Maryland corporation – have received notices that they may be laid off. A short-term spending bill passed in September will continue the cleanup through at least Dec. 11, but the uncertainty after that remains. More than 700 employees – including 500 doing the cleanup work – are at risk of losing their jobs.

Last week, a coalition of southern Ohio lawmakers and business men came to Washington to urge Congress to fight for jobs at both the cleanup site and at the proposed uranium enrichment plant.

House members who signed the letter were Reps. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, Tim Ryan, D-Niles, Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, Dave Joyce, R-Russell Township, Mike Turner, R-Dayton and Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati.

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