U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., today blasted the Tennessee Valley Authority for raising the pay of the utility’s president less than a month after raising TVA electric rates.
Rep. Wamp, whose congressional district includes the most TVA employees and facilities, said raising TVA President Tom Kilgore’s potential compensation package by $500,000 to $3.27 million is unfair when “many families in East Tennessee have been struggling to pay their bills during tough economic times.
“It defies common sense that following TVA’s biggest rate increase in three decades, the TVA board of directors would approve such a significant bonus package,” he said in a statement released today. “This isn’t fair to the many hard-working TVA customers who will have to tighten their belts even further to pay ever-higher electric bills.”
However, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chair of the TVA Congressional Caucus, said today he doesn’t think Congress should try to micromanage TVA.
“The TVA board should be sensitive to keeping its costs down, especially at a time when Tennesseans are hurting,” he said. “But TVA is the largest utility in the country and it’s got to recruit competent people to run the agency, including its nuclear plants, and it need pay them a competitive wage in order to keep them.”
TVA compensation consultants estimate Mr. Kilgore will be paid 45 percent below the industry average even with the pay increase adopted Thursday.