Sunday, April 14, 2013

Obama Budget Calls for Privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority

Obama Budget Calls for Privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority:
President Obama’s proposed 2014 budget
includes an item free marketeers can rally behind: “reducing or
eliminating” the federal government’s role in the Tennessee Valley
Authority (TVA), the nation’s largest publicly owned utility.
Naturally, both of Tennessee’s Republican senators oppose the
Bloomberg News
 “The odd thing is that a bunch of Rs are defending the
most liberal, collectivist, state-managed thing ever undertaken in
the United States,” said [Mike] McKenna, [a Republican energy
lobbyist] whose clients include the Atlanta-based
utility Southern Co. (NSC) that could benefit from a sale
of the TVA, in an e-mail. “TVA was the brainchild of the
near-communists in the Roosevelt administration.”
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican
who opposes government subsidies for energy production, called the
proposal “one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” in a
statement. He said the sale might lead to higher energy costs for
his constituents without providing much money to the U.S. to pay
down the debt.
…Consumers in Alabama and Tennessee, the TVA’s largest service
areas, pay less for electricity than the national average,
according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
…The TVA has 13,600 employees now, according the budget
proposal. The workforce is expected to fall 2.2 percent to 13,300
next year.
The idea of selling the TVA has few supporters in Congress, said
Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, in an
He and his Republican colleagues most often disagree on the
“virtues of government.” That’s not so in this case, he said.
From the administration's proposed
TVA’s power service territory includes most of Tennessee and
parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina,
and Virginia, covering 80,000 square miles and serving more than
nine million people.
Jim Powell outlined some of the TVA’s greatest
for Reason back in 2009 including: kicking 15,000
people out of their homes, flooding an area larger than the state
of Rhode Island and generally being a taxpayer-funded boondoggle
from the get-go.
Walter Olson