Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., was in Knoxville on Friday to participate in a roundtable discussion on the future of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The roundtable, held at the University of Tennessee, convened a panel of representatives from area utilities and businesses to discuss TVA’s electricity rates and its ability to be economically competitive now and over the next 20 years.
Senator Corker said, “I obviously care deeply about the standard of living and quality of life of people here in Tennessee, and I know TVA rates directly impact that. And as someone who has had the privilege of helping recruit business to our state, I know TVA also plays a critical role in our economic development efforts by providing low-cost, reliable power that is essential to attracting, retaining and growing jobs. Our discussion today focused on how we can ensure TVA is operating and making decisions in a way that will provide competitive power rates in Tennessee now and over the next 20 years.”
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) said low electricity rates that boost family incomes and help businesses create jobs should be the top priority in discussions of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s future.
“Nothing is more important to maintaining high family incomes and helping businesses create good jobs than TVA’s ability to provide large amounts of cheap, clean, reliable electricity,” Senator Alexander said. “As a former governor who spent a lot of my time recruiting new businesses to Tennessee, I know how important keeping electricity rates low is to helping businesses get our economy moving again. That’s been true for 80 years, and it will be true for the foreseeable future – especially as we try to jumpstart economic growth and prosperity all throughout the Tennessee Valley.”
In addition to highlighting the need for cheap, clean, reliable electricity, Alexander discussed TVA’s mix of energy sources – including coal and nuclear power – its importance to economic development and its role in managing a range of resources in the Tennessee Valley.
Senator Alexander said, “This roundtable is meant to discuss the focus of TVA, which is about jobs and family incomes and improving the lives of people in the Tennessee Valley’s seven states – especially in Tennessee, which nearly 70 percent of the families that TVA serves call home.”
Senator Corker joined Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tn., and Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Knoxville) in questioning panel participants, which included:
· Bill Johnson, president and CEO, Tennessee Valley Authority
· Pete Mattheis, chairman of the board, Tennessee Valley Industrial Committee
· Wayne Henson, chairman of the board, Tennessee Valley Public Power Association
· Alan Beamon, director, Coal and Electric Power Division, Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting, Energy Information Administration
· Dennis Bottorff, former chairman of the board, Tennessee Valley Authority; and representatives from Credit Suisse
· Jack Simmons, president and CEO, Seven States Power Corporation