Public interest groups challenge Tennessee Valley Authority to disclose contracts in compliance with lawLooming rate restructure decisions may further rig the system against residential consumers
WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to Tennessee Valley Authority President Bill Johnson ahead of Friday’s public TVA board meeting, two citizen groups demanded the release of TVA contracts for the sale of power and other information required for disclosure under the TVA Act.
“President Johnson and the TVA board owe answers about what deals they’ve been making behind closed doors, and their disclosure of those answers are mandated by law,” said Dave Freeman, Senior Advisor to Friends of the Earth and former Chair of the TVA under President Carter. “Industrial customers received $1.4 billion in rate reductions from 2011-2016 while residential customers paid more money for their electricity over the same five years. TVA customers deserve answers.”
The letter to Johnson, signed by Dave Freeman of Friends Of the Earth and Steve Smith, President of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, noted that “TVA has not met its legally mandated obligation to publish with its annual reports the required information about its sale of power contracts.” The letter further requests TVA turn over employee salaries as required by law.
The groups have argued that the public interest demands that the TVA disclose the details of their contracts and the true cost of power prior to voting on a radical rate restructure that the TVA Board is expected to consider at its next meeting in May. Although the utility has sought to withhold details of the rate restructure, it has become clear that they are committed to raising the rates of residential customers while decreasing the rates of large commercial customers.
“TVA is in violation of its contract with the people of the Tennessee Valley. TVA promised to make power available to them at the lowest possible rates, but is instead raising their rates to give a break to industrial customers,” stated Freeman. “Franklin Roosevelt and countless others would be turning over in their graves at what TVA is doing today. Instead of power for the people, it’s running rampant as the largest unregulated power company in America, with its CEO as the highest paid federal employee.”
Friends of the Earth’s Andrew Mathewes will be attending the Friday, February 16, TVA Board meeting in Chattanooga and will press Johnson to respond to the joint FOE/SACE demand that the TVA release its power contracts as called for under the TVA Act.
Andrew Mathewes (Tennessee) 901-652-3008; [email protected]
Erin Jensen (Washington D.C) 202-222-0722, [email protected]