TVA holds listening session

May 29, 2023                                                                                                                                                   Home

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provides power to Powell Valley Electric Cooperative and 152 other local power companies in a seven state region.  TVA is a federal agency, but receives no federal tax dollars.  It is based in Knoxville and has a nine member board of directors, that holds quarterly meetings.  Six of the nine board members are new, having been approved in December 2022.  

Norris Middle School

TVA recently held two meetings at Norris Middle School in Norris, TN.  On May 9, there was a listening session, with the board meeting taking place on May 10.  The listening session is an opportunity for members of the general public to speak to the board.  At these sessions, there is no response from the board – they only listen.  At the regular board meeting, the general public may attend; but there are no comments or discussion permitted. 

The May 9 listening session consisted of two hours of comments presented by a variety of speakers, each of whom was allowed three minutes. Speakers presented their concerns about a number of issues and expressed support or dissatisfaction with existing TVA policies and plans.

Among the topics were: 

      • responsibility for workers who have died or become ill in Kingston coal ash cleanup
      • power shortage during last winter’s major cold snap
      • need for increased commitment to wind and solar energy
      • replacement of coal-powered energy plants with natural gas  
      • small modular nuclear reactors
      • coal ash from coal-fired plants that are being shut down
      • need for TVA to respond to local concerns
      • CEO Jeff Lyash’s salary
Kingston Fossil Plant

To briefly expand on some of the above – more than 50 workers have died and more than 150 have become seriously ill as a result of the cleanup of the massive Kingston coal ash spill in 2008.  Workers were told they did not need to wear protective gear while removing the coal ash.

As a federal agency, TVA has a mandate to reduce the use of fossil fuels as an energy source.  Although TVA is shutting down coal-fired plants, replacing these with natural gas-powered plants does nothing to decrease the use of fossil fuel as an energy source.

No one knows when the first small modular reactors (SMR) will be online.  The best estimate is that it will take ten years after permitting is approved.  No one has any idea when the permitting process will even begin.  Solar and wind power are available now, and most major utilities are pushing ahead with this development.  Why not TVA?

Jeff Lyash, TVA CEO

Jeff Lyash is the highest paid federal employee in the nation.  His salary is over $1 million per year.  Last year, he made a total of $8.2 million in salary, performance bonuses and benefits. Imagine that! Remember that all of TVA’s income comes from the power bills that we pay each month.

 To learn more about PVEC, our electric cooperative, go to

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