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Selling TVA: Obama budget says state, local stakeholders could buy government utility

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

The biggest government utility could shift from federal to state control if Congress goes along with a proposal from the Obama administration to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In the White House budget plan for fiscal 2015 released Tuesday, the Office of Management and Budget suggests the federal government consider transferring or selling TVA to state and local governments, power cooperatives or energy companies in the Tennessee Valley. The proposal advances the controversial idea floated by the Office of Management and Budget a year ago for the federal government to dispose of the 81-year-old TVA to help cut the federal debt associated with the government-owned utility.

"The administration continues to believe that reducing or eliminating the federal government's role in programs such as TVA, which have achieved their original objectives, can help mitigate risk to taxpayers," OMB suggests in its budget plan for next year. "The administration recognizes the important role TVA serves in the Tennessee Valley and stands ready to work with the Congress and TVA's stakeholders to explore options to end federal ties to TVA, including alternatives such as a transfer of ownership to state and local stakeholders."

The plan was immediately denounced by Tennessee's senior senator and former governor Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

Read more from our partners at the Times Free Press.

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