Energy and Commerce Leaders Seek Answers From EPA on Tennessee Valley Authority Settlement

August 5, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Leaders on the Energy and Commerce Committee today called on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to provide important information on the agency's settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), announced in April 2011, of claims alleging that the company violated the Clean Air Act in the 1980s and 1990s in connection with certain modifications of equipment at plants in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. Signing the letter were Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), and Energy and Commerce members Sue Myrick (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY), members whose states are served by the TVA.

The lawmakers are concerned about the size and scope of the settlement and the adverse impacts it will have on jobs and electricity rates and reliability.

"This settlement appears to be the largest of its kind in EPA's history.  In particular, the settlement requires TVA to shut down 18 coal-fired units, and to spend $3 billion to $5 billion to install new pollution control equipment at facilities across the TVA system, as well as provide an additional $350 million to fund "environmental mitigation projects," and $10 million in civil penalties," the members wrote.

In the letter, the Energy and Commerce leaders ask EPA to provide the committee with detailed responses to a series of inquiries on the terms and implications of the settlement. The committee is particularly concerned that the settlement could eliminate jobs in the region while driving up electricity prices.

For a copy of the letter click here.