Alexander: Obama Administration’s TVA Proposal “Ill-Conceived, Reckless”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Wednesday told the U.S. Department of Energy’s top official that the Obama administration’s “ill-conceived, reckless” proposal in the president’s budget to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority damaged the value of the utility’s bonds and failed to account for the impact to ratepayers, taxpayers and nuclear facilities.

“Did you know that, as a result of just the random mention of it in the budget, the Tennessee Valley Authority bonds lost a market value of a half-billion dollars?” Senator Alexander asked Acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman.

“I think there’s somebody with a green eyeshade down there in the Office of Management and Budget who just thinks it’s a ‘cool’ idea to talk about selling the Tennessee Valley Authority. We don’t appreciate that approach – it’s an ill-conceived, reckless approach.”

Senator Alexander questioned Secretary Poneman about the administration’s ongoing review of TVA at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development hearing. The senator said that the loss in value to TVA’s bonds could drive up electric bills for residents throughout the Tennessee Valley, by making it more difficult for TVA to borrow money.

He also noted that TVA is the nation’s only supplier of tritium – an important component in the production of nuclear weapons – and will operate a small modular reactor that would mark innovation in the production of nuclear energy. Secretary Poneman said he had not personally been consulted, but said that TVA’s importance on a range of fronts would likely be part of the administration’s review. He said the department is “indispensably tied” to TVA’s tritium production at this point.

The senator told Secretary Poneman that TVA’s debt is not backed by federal taxpayers, and that TVA does not receive any federal taxpayer subsidy. He has also said that selling TVA could cost taxpayers money, once its debt is deducted.

Senator Alexander continued, “Don’t you think it would have been wiser, if somebody wanted to sell TVA, that they might sit down and have a private discussion about it first, rather than send the value of the bonds plunging?”

TVA has said it can live within its current debt limit, and Senator Alexander said the administration should consider reforming automatic spending increases on entitlement programs if the president wants to address the federal debt.

In addition to inquiring about the proposal to sell TVA, Alexander expressed his support for exascale computing. He also said he is supportive of the department’s energy hubs – and making sure all of them perform at a high level – and of the need to focus more resources on mercury cleanup at Oak Ridge.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, CODY LEE  4601 ENGLISH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING THEFT OF PROPERTY VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF --- ANGEL, LATOSHA ADA  49 BICE LANE GRAYSVILLE, 37338  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Woman Arrested For Leaving Small Child And Puppy Inside Hot Car At Chattanooga State

Shea Anderson, 24, was arrested for leaving a small child, a pit bull, and a puppy unattended inside a hot car on Friday. Police were dispatched to the parking lot behind the Branch Center for Advanced Technology building at Chattanooga State at 1:50 p.m. They found a small girl sweating inside a white SUV and a pit bull in the front floorboard of the vehicle. Police said ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, A Social Experiment

JoeySalads, his screen name, is widely known for his funny pranks except for the fact he calls them “social experiments.” So while we are still on the transgender-restroom issue, our boy JoeySalads got a transgender friend to approve his attire before he tried his luck at entering women’s restrooms. I don’t think you’ll be real surprised at what really happened in this video. Click ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Inter-Squad Scrimmage Saturday

Chattanooga FC will hold an Inter-squad match Saturday, May 7th, 7:00pm at Finley Stadium. The event is open to the public and free for all who attend.  The 2016 roster is set! The Inter-squad match will be the first chance for fans to see their CFC team in action. After the game, everyone will have the opportunity to get autographs, take photos, and talk with players, ... (click for more)

Baylor's Kayla Hughes Named FCA Christian Athlete Of The Year

Baylor School softball star, Kayla Hughes, was named the Greater Chattanooga FCA’s Christian Athlete of the Year at the ministry’s annual Day of Champions Sunday afternoon at Ridgedale Baptist Church.  Hughes, who will continue her softball career at Tennessee Tech, was chosen from among twelve high school FCA senior leaders nominated by area schools.  This is the 53rd ... (click for more)