U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and U.S. Representative Bud Cramer (D Ala.-05) said today at a meeting of the Congressional Tennessee Valley Authority Caucus that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) should aim to use power more efficiently while continuing to build new nuclear plants.
“Today, the TVA is taking a realistic approach to providing electricity to the Tennessee Valley which includes plans to reduce electricity use by consumers and build new nuclear plants at the same time,” Alexander said. “This reality-based strategy will permit TVA to buy less electricity in the market while also lowering the emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and carbon dioxide, and I congratulate the TVA on these efforts.”
At today’s meeting, TVA Chairman Bill Sansom and Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore discussed with Caucus members current matters affecting the Valley.
“It is good that TVA leadership is here today to update the Caucus members,” Cramer said. “We in North Alabama are growing and we need TVA to continue to aggressively recruit industry to keep the jobs coming to the Valley. Additionally, I look forward to working with TVA to move Bellefonte forward as quickly as possible to meet the increasing demand in the region.”
As part of its 2007 Strategic Plan, TVA is developing long-term strategies for promoting energy efficiency that will reduce its customers’ use of electricity by 1,250 megawatts by 2012, and by adding new, clean and safe nuclear power. The Browns Ferry Unit 1 plant went online in May 2007 and will contribute 1,280 megawatts to the system. TVA anticipates that the Watts Bar Unit 2 in Tennessee will be online by 2013 and is pushing to get approval for the Bellefonte plant in Alabama.
“In 2012, forty-two percent of TVA electricity will be clean electricity and that will put TVA among the nation’s leaders in clean energy,” said Alexander. “If we are serious about climate change and having large amounts of low-cost, reliable power so we can compete for good jobs here in the Tennessee Valley region, then our only options for growth in the near future are conservation and nuclear power. I think that the Watts Bar Unit two plant and the proposed Bellefonte plant are a step in the right direction.”
Alexander also criticized the Senate Democratic leadership for blocking several pending nominations to the revamped, modernized TVA board.
“It is completely inappropriate for the Senate to stall the approval of TVA nominees because this company affects every family in Tennessee,” Alexander said. “This inexcusable political logjam is the kind of petty politics that people have grown to hate, and I’m going to work to stop it.”
The Congressional Tennessee Valley Authority Caucus consists of Representatives and Senators from the Tennessee Valley region, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Since January 2007 Senator Alexander and Representative Cramer have served as co-chairmen of the Caucus.