By Wayne Allen
Frustrated with the lack of answers coming from Washington D.C., the Scioto County Commissioners announced they will travel to Washington D.C., Oct. 7-8, along with local business officials in hopes of bringing back answers to an anxious community.
The community and region have been scratching their heads, in trying to figure out what can be done about the impending job losses at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) reservation in Piketon.
A funding cut has been announced for Decontamination and Decommissioning of the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. If funding cuts are implemented as many as 500 jobs would be lost. DOE also announced funding would be cut to the American Centrifuge Plant, resulting in the potential loss of hundreds of jobs.
Since those announcements several community and regional officials have to trying to rally lawmakers to restore funding.
“We’re trying to coordinate our efforts to get a delegation to go (to Washington D.C.). We contacted our senators and representatives, trying to get everyone’s schedule together,” said Bryan Davis, Scioto County Commissioner. “We’re set to meet with both our congressman on the seventh (of October), we are coordinating this with some local businessmen and they are reaching out to our two senators (Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman).”
Davis said he’s reached out to Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, in hopes of scheduling a meeting.
“We’re also hopeful to meet with officials from DOE, if we could be so fortunate to do that,” Davis said.
The White House Office of Management and Budget was also reached out to, in hopes of scheduling a meeting, while the delegation is in Washington.
“We’re going to go and put a face to a name and try to sway the powers that be, because we basically looking at some very bad news for Piketon, the region and our community,” Davis said. “A lot of those workers up there reside and live in Scioto County. We want to do all that we can to, see what can be done to save those jobs and limit the damage that’s going to be done to our area.”
Commissioner Mike Crabtree said officials in Washington seem to be focusing on the wrong things.
“A lot of times common sense, is the best tool we have. It seems in Washington common sense is put in a back closet somewhere,” Crabtree said.
Davis said attention needs to be brought to the nation that, “on September 11 we voted to stop production of our (United States) only source of domestic enriched uranium, what a symbolic decision. At the same time we’re giving billions and billions of dollars a terrorist regime that will turn that money around and use it against us.”
Davis was making references to the Iran Nuclear Agreement, working its way through the federal legislative bodies.
“It’s a sad day in America,” Davis said. “We’re doing our part, everyone needs to do their part to get the word out and someone needs to be accountable.”
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT