Alexander: Jeff Smith Will Make an Excellent TVA Board Member

Posted on November 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, November 28, 2017 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced Tennessean Jeff Smith at his confirmation hearing to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, saying he will make an “excellent board member for the nation’s largest public utility.”

“One reason Sen. Corker and I recommended him [Jeff Smith] is because of his background in nuclear energy. He is the Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is known around the world for its expertise in nuclear energy. TVA has been the utility that has led all other utilities in opening new nuclear reactors. TVA opened both the last nuclear power reactor in the 20th century and the first nuclear power reactor in the 21st century.  Having a TVA director with a broad background in nuclear energy is especially important.  

“Second, he knows how to manage a large organization. Oak Ridge National Laboratory employs nearly 5,000 people and has a budget of $1.4 billion. He brings this experience to the nation’s largest public utility which has an annual budget of over $10 billion and employs more than 10,000 people.

“Third, he knows how to finish a large construction project on time and on budget, which has been a problem with some government projects, but not at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their Spallation Neutron Source was on time and on budget while he was Deputy Director.

“As a resident of the Tennessee Valley and East Tennessee, Jeff is very familiar with the needs of the region’s residents and businesses. He understands that TVA must continue to provide low cost, clean, and reliable power for homes and businesses throughout the TVA region. 

“So for all those reasons – his expertise in nuclear energy, his background in management of a large facility and his understanding of large construction projects – he will make an excellent board member for the nation’s largest public utility.” 

Alexander said Smith would be an “outstanding choice” for the TVA Board after President Trump announced his nomination on September 19.

Video of Alexander’s remarks is available here.

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