Joe Biden can make the Tennessee Valley Authority even better
TVA could have been an effective and publicly accountable regional planning agency. But, from the start, he’s hurt a lot of the people he’s meant to help. From its hydroelectric construction which harms ecosystems and human communities to its fossil fuel supply which wreaks havoc on the climate, the TVA has not lived up to its potential. But President Joe Biden could change that. He is now the ultimate authority as to who runs the agency and therefore has the opportunity to make it work for rural America, as well as to align it with the principles of his administration. stated objective a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035.
Although VAT is a public service (the largest in the country), it receives no funding from taxpayers and operates essentially as a for-profit business. That means it works much like the profit-hungry business you pay every month to keep your lights on and your house warm. TVA currently provides electricity to 10 million people in Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
The creation of TVA was destined revitalize the depressed Tennessee Valley region with employment opportunities and, in the long term, provide power generation and flood control services to area residents. By the time of its inception, many people had grown suspicious of private utilities, which they saw as overcharging for electricity, and had warmed to the idea of ââpublic ownership of utilities. ‘electricity. Roosevelt too contemplated the TVA as a renewable energy plant, a plant that would use hydroelectric dams to generate power. The execution of this part of the plan led to the shift of thousands families because VAT was authorized acquire land along the Tennessee River and its tributaries for the construction of any dam, reservoir, transmission line, or power plant it wished to build. While this part of the VAT legacy is an uplifting tale, the vision of a bold government project to generate gigawatts of clean energy and create regional landmarks in the process is exactly the sort of thing Democrats should be remembered that they are able to do.
VAT currently generates a meager 3 percent of the electricity it sells to local power companies and large industrial customers from renewable solar and wind energy. Meanwhile, its non-renewable fleet is hugeâ39% of its energy comes from nuclear power, 26% from methane and 21% from coal. TVA plans to withdraw less than 25 percent of its coal fleet by 2030 and expand operations in two methane gas plants. By VAT own projections, it will emit more than 34 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2038. Thirty-four million tonnes – a figure meaningless to most of us – is more … than Annual carbon dioxide emissions from 136 countries. And while TVA Emissions reduction “plan” is to “aspire to achieve net zero carbon emissions”, it has no specific policies or proposals to achieve this goal. For example, there is no plan to mitigate methane emissions, which are 86 times more powerful as carbon emissions during their first 20 years in the atmosphere. Where an agenda should exist, there are only empty aspirations.