TVA chief says the agency's model is working

TVA chief says the agency's model is working

May 30th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

TVA's Bill Johnson

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

POLL: Is TVA doing a good job?

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Valley Authority has helped recruit $25 billion of new investment through its economic development programs in the past five years while protecting billions of dollars of property through its flood control facilities, TVA President Bill Johnson said today.

"What we're doing is working," Johnson said today during the Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit. "We like to say that for 80 years we've kept the lights glowing, the river flowing and the jobs growing."

TVA's multi-purpose, public ownership has been challenged by Obama administration budget planners, who proposed a strategic review of TVA to see if selling the agency might help lower the federal debt and "put the nation on a more sustainable" fiscal path.

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Tennessee Republicans, each dismissed chances of Congress approving any sale or transfer of TVA from its federal ownership. But in a speech to several hundreds business and government leaders, Johnson still emphasized the role TVA plays in energy, jobs, recreation and environmental quality.

Johnson thanked the Tennessee Valley congressional delegation for standing behind TVA.

"We've had fairly steadfast support form the delegation and our commitment is to keep giving you reasons to support it," Johnson said.