TVA -some mysterious deal making

TVA – some mysterious deal making

November 28, 2015


When it was first made public, Google had closed the deal with TVA. Government entities in north Alabama (mayors, councilmen, etc.) were sworn to secrecy; the cone of silence had to be in place. After all, giant Google with more power and influence than a 600 million dollar data warehouse in remote Stevenson, AL was the object, the pot of gold for north Alabama.


And after months of secret negotiations involving “hundreds” of federal TVA employees, (apparently they were sworn to secrecy too,) there was much jubilation, hooraying, and back slapping in celebration of the deal made with Google. Was it legal? Was TVA just showing how opaque it could be? In fact it is not right for TVA to keep ratepayers in the dark. TVA uses their money as if it was TVA’s money pot free to use without restraint.


Google explains what their setup is supposed to be like. Enamored with renewables, Google expects their new data warehouse to be fully powered with renewables. Their plant will require enormous amounts of electricity which became Google’s on a questionable land easement deal. Does TVA sell the electricity needed for the warehouse to Google? Google’s explanation of using the infrastructure left behind by the closed Widows Creek coal fired plants implies that the power will be provided by Google via renewables sources. Of course, TVA is not available for clarifications of any of this.


Here are some questions for TVA:


  • Presumably there was valuation in TVA’s grant to Google for a permanent “easement” for some of the Widows Creek land. What and how much was it?
  • Was the purpose in using the easement process to avoid the required bidding process?
  • If so, does TVA intend to use this “go around” procedure in the future?
  • The “deal” made with Google has mysterious implications as to the future of TVA. Should TVA become a private utility versus a federal one thus breaking up TVA into several parts?


Right now, it seems that ratepayers are getting the short end of the stick. If TVA were a stock-holding company, surely the CEO would have to go.


Norsworthy Opinion

TVA – so when is a sheep a goat?

Chattanooga Free Press, a good job as usual in Dave Flessner’s reporting on what’s there but there is no “there, there” when TVA spouts its propaganda. I know it must be difficult to counterbalance what TVA says with the reality that TVA is traveling under false pretenses by claiming they can turn sheep into goats.

It’s impossible to argue with a false premise. Everybody at TVA talks about “competitiveness” when they’re talking about a federal agency program which never should compete with its own citizens. Long ago, TVA lost its legacy of helping the country through some tough spots and trying now to justify what it isn’t.
No, TVA is not a private utility (although it tries its darndest to be one,) it uses the language of a private utility which it is not. As the 10,000 federal employees will attest, “I ain’t givin’ my bonus back!”

Not until people like Rep John Duncan (R-TN) and many more like him rise up and see that the federal government has fooled them once more; it’s the ratepayer who was left holding the bag. By the way, who decides whether ratepayers are sheep or goats?
Rather than poring over the latest light bill and wondering when the next rate increase is coming, ratepayers should be challenging the enormous “bonuses” paid to federal TVA employees; money that rightfully should go to ratepayers.

I have followed TVA for many years and it unquestionably is increasing its power-grabbing through financial manipulations, its sprinkling of money throughout the huge TVA territory. Who gets most of TVA’s largess? The state that stands the most to lose – Tennessee. How can TVA budget all of these non-essential expenditures? One answer is that TVA just received the proceeds from a 50-year non-callable bond sale. TVA can play around with that kind of money for a very long time.

Forget the $30 billion cap set by Congress, its meaningless now. TVA has figured out ways to go around that cap taking the impotent congress out of the picture. TVA keeps trying to act like a private utility and they should be given a chance to see if they can operate without ANY government help.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Norsworthy Opinion

TVA – working off of a billion dollars

TVA – working off of a billion dollars

November 22, 2015


The Associated Press seemed to bust a gut in glowingly tell of the bonuses to some 10,000 federal TVA employees, averaging over $10,000 each. What is there to be proud of? It’s a government agency designed to compete with private utilities (I call that illegal); to drain private dollars from the TVA territory for manipulation, a billion dollars’ worth, and put it in the hands of non-elected presidential appointees headed by a so-called “CEO” whose compensation exceeds (over $6 million) any other federal employee.

The AP makes it sound so rosy, so non-competitive with stock-holding utilities. Friend, the AP couldn’t be further from the truth. The article uses the word “sharing” implying TVA is a shareholding entity. TVA has no shares; it is no more, no less than a federal agency that was set up incorrectly in 1933 and continues to this day as an aberration on the constitution.

AP apparently picked up the erroneous “2000 jobs cut” … “and not filled vacant positions to cut most of the more than 2,000 jobs eliminated over the past couple of years.” Early on, TVA admitted that the “2000 job cuts” were a fake and were only job positions that had not been filled. TVA has done nothing to correct this error in interpretation.

TVA employees are paid above the surrounding wages of the ones they serve. There is some resentment there; TVA employees do not have to merit the higher wages. …TVA is not a typical government agency and the federally owned utility must compete with higher-paying, investor-owned utilities to keep and retain top talent.”

“We are dealing with the fact that because of the high performance we are getting, many other utilities would like to hire our people away,” Ritch said. “We still pay below industry levels.”

I say, Mr. Ritch, there is no rush of TVA employees leaving the government’s arms of security. Let’s face it, TVA is known as a “plum” job. Offers of early retirement are slow in coming at TVA. Is it any wonder?

“A few years ago, everyone was talking about how TVA was going to have to raise its $30 billion debt ceiling, but we don’t here that talk anymore,” said Peter Mahurin, a TVA director. It is no secret, but TVA has figured out how to get around the $30 billion cap and to get all the money it wants. For the long-term… It’s called “kick the finance can into the next administration.”

“Our rates are very competitive and getting more competitive,” Johnson said Friday. What the hay, where does it say in the TVA charter that TVA is supposed to be “competitive,” is there a separate meaning to the word? The problem with TVA is that it has never become “neither fish nor fowl.” That goes back a long time when progressive FDR tried to mess things up (and he did!)

Soon to be published is my tome entitled “TVA Fraud.”

Norsworthy Opinion


TVA – happiness is cash from 50-year bonds

November 8. 2015

Oh glee! A billion bucks to play with! That must have been the TVA reaction after they sold $l billion of nonredeemable 50-year bonds recently. It looks to be a very bad bargain on the part of the bond holders. The purchase is based on a falsity. The law clearly states that the U.S. government is not responsible for TVA’s debt, yet that is apparently the assumption of Fitch, a rating company, by giving TVA their best rating. For rating companies it is a gamble; for bond buyers an even greater risk.

First, to think TVA will last 50 more years is ludicrous when the present administration already admits the usefulness of the TVA days are over. But keep in mind that this administration is ideologically driven by “climate change” (formally called “global warming”) in every way imaginable regardless of the impact it may have directly on jobs and economic growth.

Sadly, I must admit that with the billion dollar nonredeemable bond issue for 50-years, it will become almost impossible to jar TVA out of attempts to try to be like a private utility and predictably become neither “fish nor fowl” monster as originally stated by FDR. Incidentally, apparently the congress couldn’t care less about the TVA because no appropriations have been requested since 1959 and TVA continues to extend their debt for a long time in the future.

Regardless of the games TVA continues to play, the concept, the model TVA is operating under is like the golden goose sans the golden egg. I say TVA is a federal agency, not what FDR called it.

Norsworthy Opinion