President Trump has announced his picks to fill out the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors. The slate includes a coal executive and a leader at Oak Ridge National Lab.
The one nominee from Tennessee is Jeff Smith, who gets praise from both of the state's senators. Smith was deputy director of operations at Oak Ridge. Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker say they still need to get to know the other nominees.
One of them is Kenny Allen, who has spent a career in the coal industry. He's from Western Kentucky and most recently was an executive with Armstrong Coal. TVA has continued to move away from coal and has even shutdown old plants, but Allen has been an advocate for the industry in recent years.
The 9-member TVA board, which oversees the nation's largest public utility, has had lingering vacancies because President Obama's nominees were not confirmed. If these appointments are not confirmed, the board will not have a quorum after the start of the year.