Whatever happened to ... Obama backs Brown for TVA board again

Whatever happened to ... Obama backs Brown for TVA board again

March 24th, 2013 by Pam Sohn in Local Regional News

President Barack Obama has resubmitted Marilyn Brown's name as a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority board. Brown had served a term but Tennessee Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker opposed her being reappointed.

President Barack Obama has resubmitted Marilyn Brown's name...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Q: Whatever happened with TVA's still-vacant board seat?

A: After a showdown at the end of December to get congressional approval for five new TVA board members, the nomination of one, Dr. Marilyn Brown, was stalled by Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Just last week, Brown -- a respected energy and climate change expert, Georgia Institute of Technology professor and Nobel Prize winner -- was renominated by the Obama administration.

The move drew praise from environmental and conservation groups, but quick fire from Alexander, R-Tenn.

"This is another example of the Obama White House not listening," Alexander said in a prepared statement Friday afternoon. "I told the White House in advance that the TVA board needs a nominee with a better understanding of the relationship between low electricity rates and better jobs in the Tennessee Valley."

Brown already has served two years on the board, but Alexander and Corker did not forward her name for renomination late last year.

In a joint statement Jan. 2, the senators encouraged Obama "to send another nominee with credentials better suited to the TVA board."

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, called on Tennessee senators to stop playing "petty politics" and "explain in detail to the people of the Tennessee Valley why this distinguished and highly qualified woman should not continue to serve on the TVA board. "

This update was written by staff writer Pam Sohn. Contact her at 423-757-6346 or psohn@ timesfreepress.com. To suggest a topic for Whatever happened to, email news@timesfreepress.com.