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Letter to Majority Leader Schumer

Re: TVA Board Nominations: National & Regional Orgs Request Immediate Confirmation of All 6 TVA Board nominations

November 17, 2022

November 17, 2022

 

The Honorable Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader

Room S-221, The Capitol

Washington, DC 20510

Re:          Request for the Senate to Immediately Confirm All 6 Nominees to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board

Dear Majority Leader Schumer,

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, we, the undersigned organizations, respectfully urge you to immediately confirm all 6 of President Biden’s nominees to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Board of Directors. Since April of last year, when President Biden first nominated Beth Geer, Michelle Moore, and Robert Klein to the TVA Board, we have been urging the Senate to confirm new leaders who can get our country’s largest power provider back on track.[1] By the end of this year, without these new board members, TVA will be left lacking quorum and unable to function. This is especially concerning as the TVA Board is tasked with crucial decision-making authority, especially approving the utility’s energy plans for the next 20 years in the upcoming Integrated Resource Plan, and more short-term decisions on retirement and replacement options for its coal-fired power plants.

We cannot overlook the impact this would have on TVA’s 10 million customers, who experience some of the highest energy burdens in the country. Without a functioning board that is tasked with setting forth rates, approving important initiatives that provide energy assistance to customers, and so much more, TVA customers will be left in an increasingly energy-insecure position, especially as gas prices skyrocket and climate disasters intensify, resulting in shutoffs, compiling debt, and public health hazards.

We are confronted with a tight deadline to get these nominees onto the TVA Board by the end of the year, and now Republican opposition to one nominee – who remains in committee – further threatens progress. This is all despite a deal made between Republicans and the Administration to specifically nominate 3 more board members from Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi in exchange for bipartisan support for a slate of all 6 TVA nominees. It is imperative both parties honor their end of the deal and immediately confirm all TVA board nominees as one package, as was originally agreed to.

TVA should be at the forefront of our transition to a fossil-fuel-free, just and resilient energy future, growing union jobs and reducing energy burdens across the Valley. That can only happen if we confirm all six nominees to the TVA board by the end of this year. We therefore urge you and Members of the Environment and Public Works Committee to immediately confirm the full slate of President Biden’s nominees to the TVA Board.

Thank you for your attention on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Clean Up TVA Coalition

Sunrise Movement

Sierra Club

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Appalachian Voices

Center for Biological Diversity

NAACP-Memphis Chapter

Sowing Justice

Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment

Energy Alabama

Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light

One Knox Legacy Coalition

Knoxville Democratic Socialists of America

National Organizations

National Resources Defense Council

Friends of the Earth

Rewiring America

Food & Water Watch

Union of Concerned Scientists

Interfaith Power & Light

The Climate Reality Project

Revolving Door Project

Climate Hawks Vote

 

 

 


[1]                 Center for Biological Diversity, Press Release: Tennessee Valley Authority Must Commit to 100% Clean Energy, Align with Biden Climate Goal (Feb. 9, 2020), https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/tennessee-valley-authority-must-commit-to-100-clean-energy-align-with-biden-climate-goal-2021-02-09/ .  

[2]                 See TVA Replacing Natural Gas Units, Supports Solar Growth (July 6, 2021), https://www.tva.com/newsroom/press-releases/tva-replacing-natural-gas-units-supports-solar-growth.

[3]                 TVA 2019 Environmental Impact Statement, Final EIS at 5-27.    

 


[1]          See Letter to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, “Congress Should Confirm Climate Champions To Tva Board Of Directors,” May 13, 2021, https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/energy-justice/pdfs/2021-5-13_200-Group-Letter-on-TVA-Board.pdf.