It’s time to Renew Tennessee!

Our communities deserve affordable, clean energy, but Tennessee is falling behind the rest of the South. Consumers’ rights to transparency and accountability are being ignored, and too many decisions are being made behind closed doors without listening to the people. That’s why we’re launching Renew Tennessee – a new campaign to Renew Tennessee’s commitment to affordable, clean energy that creates jobs, powers communities and improves lives throughout the entire Valley.

My Statement to the TVA Board on Major Rate Change Approved May 10, 2018

Last Friday, I made the trip to Muscle Shoals, Alabama in order to publicly deliver my comments to the TVA board meeting before their planned vote on their rate restructuring policy, which included a never before implemented mandatory fee. This decision comes on the heels of continued distrust and public outcry over TVA executives’ ongoing lack of transparency, unjustified spending on luxury air travel, and out of touch “leadership” of the people of the Tennessee Valley.

Damning Report by Inspector General Exposes the Truth About TVA’s Luxury Jet

After watchdog groups raised questions about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) purchase of seemingly unnecessary and exorbitant aircraft, TVA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report summarizing its own audit of the purchase and use of two of TVA’s most recent luxury toys, a 2015 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ jet and a 2015 Beechcraft King Air 350i. Strangely missing from this TVA OIG audit is a review of the second jet, a 2017 Cessna Citation 560 XLS+ and a EC 145 Mercedes-Benz style helicopter, both purchased under CEO Bill Johnson’s “life style of the rich and famous” tenure at TVA. The OIG audit clearly shows that TVA could not justify the 2015 purchase of one jet, and yet Johnson went out and bought a second jet in 2017.

In the audit the majority of justifications communicated by TVA executives for the 2015 jet purchase were systematically shown to be imaginary at the best and dishonest at worst. These purchases follow a growing pattern of extraordinary salary and bonuses paid to TVA’s top executives including CEO Bill Johnson as the highest paid Federal employee in the nation current receiving over $6.5 million dollars annually.

The OIG findings come on the heels of a TVA proposal to increase costs for residential and small business customers, adding fixed fees to already inflated residential small business rates that have been increased over the past few years as TVA gave large industrial customers big rate cuts.

TVA’s Extravagant Executive Toys at Your Expense

Just when you thought the excessive executive compensation was bad, it appears that the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) CEO Bill Johnson, already the highest paid federal employee in the entire country taking home over $6.5 in total compensation in 2017, spent the last few years on a spending spree buying new corporate jets, airplanes and a luxury helicopter. Over the past two and a half years it looks like the grand total of the spending spree comes in at about $40,000,000.

Clean Line: A TVA Failure of Clean Energy and Environmental Leadership

Thee Tennessee Valley Authority is abdicating its role as a utility leader and its customers will be left holding the bag. In its biggest blow to renewable energy development, TVA has effectively killed the Plains and Eastern Clean Line high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project.

Privatizing Bellefonte: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

You might think that if some prominent power brokers pitched a plan that promised to shut down more than twenty coal-fired power plants owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority, that an organization like the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy might sign on without hesitation. But we did hesitate, and what we have found as we […]

Controversial Former Progress Energy CEO Appointed to Head TVA

Today’s appointment of former Progress Energy CEO William Johnson as the new CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is raising the eyebrows of clean energy advocates across the region, including here at SACE.  Though willing to maintain  an open mind, I’m surprised that TVA’s Board would hire Mr. Johnson with his controversial past. Of […]

Duke Leadership Hearing Veers Into Substance

Much of yesterday’s utility commission hearing seemed to focus on the personal story of Bill Johnson and his experience during the Duke – Progress merger. The dramatic testimony was likened by one person in attendance to “divorce court.” The North Carolina Utilities Commission seemed interested in both the personal interactions of Duke and Progress leadership, […]

The Devil We Know: Visionary Jim Rogers Meets Southeastern Skepticism

In his book The Climate War, Eric Pooley described Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers as a “silver-tongued devil.”  Today, we may find out if former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson agrees. After being ousted as the CEO of the newly merged Duke Energy, Johnson will testify before the North Carolina Utilities Commission which has been the […]