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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AKRIDGE, JERTERRIUS MARSHAWN 6317 TALLEDEGA AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37421 20 Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY EVADING ARREST RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRUCTION OF LEGAL PROCESS RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ANTONIO, MICAELA 2001 E. 28TH ST. CHATTANOOGA, 37407 31 Hamilton ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 14-20

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report for Nov. 14-20: Eric Brandon Carden, 22, of 192 Madgabend Road, Rossville was arrested November 13 on charges of driving while license suspended and operation of unregistered vehicle.   Michael James Dodd, 42, of 94 Cross Street, Fort Oglethorpe was arrested November 14 on a charge of shoplifting.   James ... (click for more)

Don't Allow Us To Be Overrun By People Who Do Not Belong Here - And Response (6)

Thank you, Senator Corker, for your clear, concise evaluation of the president's attempt to bypass Congress and personally and independently establish national policy that violates our current immigration laws.   Our long-standing failure to enforce our laws to control illegal immigration across our southern border has made this country less safe and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Big Over Furman, Undefeated In Conference Play

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team put a cherry on top of its 2014 regular season with Saturday’s 45-19 win at Furman (3-9, 2-5 SoCon).  The victory gives the No. 9 Mocs (9-3, 7-0 SoCon) its first ever undefeated Southern Conference slate and its first nine-win season since 1979. Junior quarterback Jacob Huesman led the way with 257 passing yards ... (click for more)