Obama Proposal To Sell TVA Blasted By Republicans
WASHINGTON -- In a political role reversal, Republicans are blasting President Barack Obama's plan to consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, an icon of the New Deal long targeted by conservatives as an example of government overreach.
Obama's 2014 budget proposal calls for a strategic review of the TVA, the nation's largest public utility with 9 million customers in seven states from Virginia to Mississippi.
Selling the U.S-owned power company could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion and "help put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path," Obama says in a budget document.
Not so fast, say GOP lawmakers in the region.
"It's one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a longtime TVA champion.
"There is no assurance that selling TVA to a profit-making entity would reduce electric bills in the Tennessee Valley, and it could lead to higher electricity rates" for customers in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Alexander said.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., vowed to "carefully study any proposals to restructure TVA" to ensure it continues to deliver affordable electricity throughout the region.