TVA To Meet With Budget Officials On Privatization For The First Time

TVA is supported by electricity rates and doesn't cost the federal government anything. But its nearly $30 billion debt does show up on the country's balance sheet. This is a photo of TVA's Chattanooga offices. Credit: TVA

TVA is supported by electricity rates and doesn’t cost the federal government anything. But its nearly $30 billion debt does show up on the country’s balance sheet. This is a photo of TVA’s Chattanooga offices. Credit: TVA

TVA executives will hold their first face-to-face meetings with the Obama Administration Tuesday about possibly privatizing the public utility. The idea was floated in the President’s budget plan.

It came as a total surprise to people at the Tennessee Valley Authority. But senior vice president of policy and oversight Joe Hoagland says he presumes the possible sale of the country’s largest public utility was well thought out.

“We’re going up there to understand what they need and figure out what we need to support the activity. I mean, I assume they were serious since they put it in the administration’s budget.”

Hoagland says TVA will cooperate with the planned “strategic review” of the agency. But CEO Bill Johnson has said he believes the current business model is a good one. Tennessee’s senators say selling TVA might not even pay off the utility’s debt.

President Obama’s budget document suggested TVA had already achieved its original purpose of stimulating development in an impoverished region.


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