White House Eyes Sale of TVA

President Obama may want to rid the federal government of TVA, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
The president’s fiscal 2014 budget request, released today, includes a section called “Reform TVA.” It describes in detail the Tennessee Valley Authority’s “impact to the federal deficit.”
“Reducing or eliminating the federal government’s role in programs such as TVA, which have achieved their original objectives and no longer require federal participation, can help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path,” reads the passage.
Mentioning TVA’s debt constraints, the administration appears poised to undertake a thorough review of the federally owned utility’s finances.
That includes “the possible divestiture of TVA, in part or as a whole,” according to the budget.

Note: Sen. Lamar Alexander rushed out a news release on the subject. It’s below.

News release from Sen. Lamar Alexander’s office:
WASHINGTON, April 10 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on President Obama’s plan to have the federal government consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“This is one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” Alexander said. “There is today no federal taxpayer subsidy for TVA, period. There is by law no federal taxpayer liability for TVA debt. And after deducting its debt, selling TVA would probably cost taxpayers money.”
Alexander continued, “Finally, there is no assurance that selling TVA to a profit-making entity would reduce electric bills in the TN valley – which should be the overriding objective – and it could lead to higher electricity rates. While TVA management prefers a flexible debt cap, it has assured me that it can live within the current debt limit if necessary.”

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