Senator discusses possible PNNL cuts - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senator discusses possible PNNL cuts

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RICHLAND, Wash.—A proposed House budget could cut up to 600 jobs at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, but U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell is trying to save them.

The Senator says the proposed cuts to PNNL would threaten private-sector job growth in the Tri-Cities.  This comes after the Republican- controlled House passed a spending plan in an effort to reduce the federal deficit.

Senator Maria Cantwell says PNNL has created more than 2,000 jobs at 100 different companies, but with the proposed cuts future jobs could also be hit.

Republican Congressman Doc Hastings has stated that PNNL is a leader when it comes to clean energy.

The lab is the largest employer in the Tri-Cities and provides $410-million dollars in local payroll every year.

"I will be fighting to preserve the 600 jobs at PNNL.  I will be working with my colleagues to show them the proven job creation that comes from advancements in technology," says U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D) WA.

The Senator also touched base on the nuclear plant problems Japan is facing since the devastating earthquake.  She says if an earthquake were to hit the Tri-Cities she believes local nuclear facilities employees are prepared.

Sunday KNDU will speak with an Energy Northwest representative on their preparations.