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VOL. 37 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 22, 2013
Administration again advances Brown for TVA board
NASHVILLE (AP) - The Obama administration has angered Tennessee's U.S. senators by again nominating energy-efficiency expert Marilyn Brown for a full term on the TVA board.
The nomination, sent to the Senate on Thursday night, comes two months after Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker procedurally blocked a previous attempt by President Barack Obama to gain confirmation of Brown to a six-year term.
Brown was appointed to the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors in 2010 to fill out an unexpired term until 2012.
Both Alexander and Corker expressed irritation at the nomination.
"This is another example of the Obama White House not listening," Alexander said in a statement Friday. "I told the White House in advance that the TVA board needs a nominee with a better understanding of the relationship between low electricity rates and better jobs in the Tennessee Valley."
Fellow Republican Bob Corker's response was also s harp.
"TVA needs leaders who enthusiastically support the mission of producing economical electricity and have an abiding appreciation of its important economic development role and impact on the well-being of Valley residents," Corker said. "Unfortunately, during my discussions with Dr. Brown, it was clear she does not share that point of view."
While neither senator specifically said he would again try to block Brown's nomination, Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, told the Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/15Lc0We ) such a move is expected.
"I think it was a pretty clear signal," he said in an interview with the newspaper's Washington reporter.
Smith also said if Alexander and Corker should be specific about why they don't like Brown's qualifications.
"We reject petty politics and personality differences as legitimate reasons for blocking her confirmation," he said.
Brown teaches at Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy. She formerly worked for the Department of Energy at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Kateri Callahan of the Washington-based Alliance to Save Energy said she disagreed with Alexander's contention that Brown is not familiar enough with the Tennessee Valley.
"She knows the region. She knows the people. She served the TVA extremely well in her first term," Callahan said.