TVA and the Roger Taney Supreme Court decision (A comment in the Tennessean 3-6-13)

Isn’t this about where our Constitution began to be discredited by black citizens? Taney is remembered for a grossly misconstructed Supreme Court decision yet, he seemed to exemplify exactly the opposite in his personal life.

 In times of turmoil, we sometimes make grossly mistaken decisions that affect a great many people and circumstances for a very long time. Such is the case of the once glorified Tennessee Valley Authority, which as a federal agency promised to rid us of the Great Depression symptoms.

 Yes, fear was in the air; any plan of hope will do, shove private enterprise aside, and let the plan from Washington begin. Temporarily, TVA did provide some jobs (my Dad actually worked on electrifying one of the dams) but it seemed that FDR had another plan in mind for TVA to “electrify America.” Congress squelched the idea of so-called “little TVA’s” however; TVA itself has grown into a behemoth of epic proportions and mostly without supervision or oversight by Congress.

 When the law was changed so that TVA became “self-sufficient” it just opened the backdoor to exotic financing, debt financing that nears $30 billion dollars today.

 Income to the federal TVA now is about $10 billion annually and by 2015 the total will reach $500 billion (is that a half-trillion dollars?) for the preceding five years. That is a huge amount of money going for federally directed projects; when TVA is liquidated those moneys will go to our free-market economy coffers instead of supporting the federal government.

 Yes, the Taney decision was a horrible mistake but in terms of dollars taken from the nine million citizens in the South for federal purposes, TVA is by far the winner.

TVA – wasteful spending on nuclear reactors


TVA – wasteful spending on nuclear reactors

February 27, 2013

 The Tennessee Valley Authority, you know, the federal agency that supplies electricity for about nine million people in the Southeast, must be crazy if the definition of insanity is described as repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different outcome.

 The most outlandish example of this is how TVA has dealt with nuclear reactors from the start. First, a group of three so-called experts in the field decided wrongly on the number of reactors that would be needed for then and for long-term. They started far too many at once; costs became overwhelming and demand for electricity dropped drastically. This scenario is repeating itself yet again. But what does TVA do?

 ‘Let’s build so-called small modular reactors for a tenth of the cost and of course at a tenth of the power.’ That’s the prediction from the experts when the SMR has never been built or successfully tested to the consternation of TVA’s ratepayers, the ones who must pay for a very expensive experiment; its hair-pulling time.

 One thing ratepayer’s dread is that they must pay again for another TVA folly. It’s a familiar theme; borrow more money and this time get even more help from the Department of Energy which is illegal on the face of it. The pattern is the same and the road is endless for can kicking.

 TVA is a peculiar program of FDR’s that President Obama would like to emulate, no matter the cost or who has to pay. TVA ratepayers should have a say in any developments that directly affect their pockbook.

 Costly reactors, fits and starts, have cost billions in wasted dollars. And now TVA is trying to finish two reactors that have decade’s old and obsolete technology. What to do? Why, plow ahead with old concepts none of which were time and cost estimated properly within a “budget” (using the term “budget” very loosely,) and continued use of the insanity defense?

 One of the old reactors was re-started at the Browns Ferry site and TVA proclaimed that the restart was “on time and on budget,” neither of which, as it turned out, was true. But President Bush took TVA’s statement as true and repeated the error. Bush was “sandbagged”; of course, nobody at TVA was punished for lying or was fired.

 The project has been plagued with problems since then but all TVA does is throw good money after bad. At one time, the NRC rated it the worst nuclear reactor in the U.S. I have knowledge from an eyewitness report that the operators acted lackadaisical and one time let a cleanup person “shut down a nuclear reactor.”

 TVA says it plans to do a new “Integrated Resource Plan.” Much time and travel expense went into the present IRP, including secret meetings. The likely results would be similar; not worth the paper that it was written on. The problem is that TVA’s mission was completed many decades ago: every few years TVA has since come up with yet another “plan.”

 The TVA has gone begging for congressional control; it should be abolished or absolve ratepayers’ obligation for TVA’s $30 billion debt and increasing experimental funds.

 Ernest Norsworthy

Limited Government





TVA – a spy among us?

It is more than a little unsettling that it appears that Iran, a sworn enemy of the US, has a trained Iranian engineer who was fired from working on the rebuilding of a nuclear reactor in Bajestani is a citizen of Iran, and although he apparently has dual citizenship, his actions definitely shows Iran is his preference.

 We are practically in a state of war with Iran and have been playing “chicken” with them for years. Bajestani, purportedly a nuclear expert, would seem to prefer to speed along Iran’s efforts to make atomic weapons rather than to help the U.S. finish a decades old nuclear plant here.

 TVA will not say much about Bajestani although he worked for TVA a considerable time. After Bajestani suddenly left the nuclear site at Watts Bar, questions came up about his past history, his public divorce proceedings, and his attempts to deceive TVA to get at $1.5 million in deferred compensation.

 Clearly, the man is a flight risk no matter how many electronic bracelets he has on. Now in the international arena, the judgment not to hold him for trial appears to placate Obama’s desire to “discuss” the Iran situation. The argument he could have flown does not equal the risk now because he has been arrested.

 The judge said it was a “close call” of whether or not to detain him and he came down on the side of a home detention. Think of the $1.5 million he likely will have to give up and taken from Iranian banks (unlikely); think of the years he likely will spend in an American prison. He already proved his ability to lie and get away with it. Not a flight risk?

 Chamberlainesque, the judge made a soft decision and will rue the day when Bajestani does not show up for trial.