Statement of Senator Barbara Boxer

Hearing on the Nominations of Virginia T. Lodge and Ronald A. Walter to be Members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority

November 13, 2014

(Remarks as prepared for delivery)


I want to begin by welcoming Virginia T. Lodge and Ronald A. Walter, who have been nominated to serve as Members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).  I appreciate your commitment to public service.


TVA has an essential responsibility to the communities it serves, including providing power to approximately 9 million people.  TVA should be a leader in providing reliable power, while also reducing the dangerous air pollution our children and families are forced to breathe.  I urge you to continue TVA’s increased focus on clean and renewable energy. 


It is also important that TVA focus on the management of waste from its coal-fired power plants. It has been almost six years since the tragic coal ash disaster at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee. TVA must remain committed to reducing the dangers associated with coal ash ponds and ensuring that neighboring communities are kept safe. As nominees, I would like to hear how you will make sure this remains a top priority for the Board of Directors.


Another important area is the safety of nuclear power plants operated by TVA. Unfortunately, in recent years the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has identified safety problems at TVA’s nuclear power plants. Potential safety concerns cannot be ignored and must be addressed quickly, especially in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.


TVA has an important mandate to be a national leader in technological innovation, low-cost power, and environmental stewardship.  I look forward to hearing from you about your vision for the future of TVA.