Thank you, Chairman Inhofe, for holding this hearing. Today we undertake one of the most important roles we have as Senators, the role of “advise and consent”. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from all the nominees.
I will, however, today focus my remarks on the nominees for the Tennessee Valley Authority Board, and specifically on the lack of diversity in representation amongst that board. Mr. Chairman, some months back I met in my office with Tom Kilgore, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the TVA. During that meeting I expressed to him my wish that the TVA diversify its board, to include a Georgian. Mr. Chairman today we have 6 nominees before us and as we speak the White House is currently in the process of selecting a 7th nominee, which I have been told from sources familiar with the process will also be from Tennessee. Each of the nominees before us is well qualified, but yet again my state of Georgia is not represented on the board. In fact the State of Georgia has never been represented on the TVA board. This current board also does not represent the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and Mississippi which are all part of the TVA territory. This is extremely disappointing.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit for the record a document that my staff printed off the TVA website. This document is entitled “TVA in Georgia”, and is a fact sheet for the year 2004 which I presume is the latest data available to the TVA. On this sheet it says the following:
· “Distributors of TVA power sold nearly 1.9 billion kilowatt-hours to more than 123,000 households located in 10 north Georgia counties.”
If we assume that each household houses on average 3 individuals, which I believe is a fair assumption, then that equals 369,000 constituents of mine who rely on TVA and yet have never been given a voice on their board.
Today I am giving them that voice.