Chattanooga, Tenn. – Concerned ratepayers from cities across Tennessee, worried by their escalating power bills and newly-proposed increases in mandatory fees, gathered in Chattanooga this morning to address the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors during its first quarterly meeting of 2018.
The diverse crowd, hailing from Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Murfreesboro, and other communities, spoke about a range of issues but primarily focused on the overall lack of transparency by TVA, a $1.4 billion rate shift from industrial to residential customers, proposed increases to monthly mandatory fees, and recent reports of extravagant spending on luxury aircraft.
“I want my monthly electric bill to be a Clean Bill, one free of excessive mandatory fees, one not subsidizing big industrial customers’ lower rates, and one that does not fund corporate jets and luxury helicopters for millionaire TVA executives,” Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said in his prepared comments to the TVA Board. “TVA’s current rate manipulation is a corruption of the TVA Act and its mission and is being forced on Tennessee Valley citizens by a self regulated Federal monopoly lead by a self enriching millionaire executive team that has lost touch with our region’s values.”
“The TVA monopoly has run unchecked for long enough, and we are calling for Bill Johnson to step down,” stated Debbie Dooley, President of Conservatives for Energy Freedom and National Tea Party Cofounder. “It is time to Drain the Swamp at the top of TVA and put the Public back in Public Power.”
“As we heard from community members throughout the state today, it is clear that TVA has veered off their path of serving the people of Tennessee,” said Elder Jimmie Garland, Vice President of the Tennessee State Conference, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
“We are gravely concerned that TVA continues to show preferential treatment to large industry customers, discounting their rates, while the bills and mandatory fees of hardworking families rise to detrimental levels, even to the point of forcing some to chose between paying their electricity bill or buying medicine for the month. We strongly feel that Congressional, state, and local leaders need to interject accountability and oversight into the operation of TVA.”
The TVA Board is scheduled to consider the monthly mandatory fee issue at its next quarterly meeting, scheduled for May 2018 in Muscle Shoals, AL.
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of Global Climate Change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes.
Conservatives for Energy Freedom was founded in July 2014 by Debbie Dooley, President of Green Tea Coalition. Ms. Dooley founded Conservatives For Energy Freedom to be a strong conservative voice advocating for consumer choice in the energy field . She believes we need to be good stewards of the environment God gave us and free market solutions are the best way to accomplish that. Learn more at http://energyfreedomusa.org.