UPDATE:  TVA has issued a statement following President Trump's proposal that TVA should sell their assets.

“TVA was created by an Act of Congress in 1933; and Congress has always had the power to change the role or structure of TVA. Implementing the stated proposal in the President’s 2019 budget of selling TVA’s transmission assets would require Congress to act legislatively. In accordance with existing legislation, TVA will continue to pursue its mission of improving the quality of life for people in the region through our work in energy, the environment and economic development,” said TVA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson. 

The TVA transmission assets described in the budget schedule include more than 16,000 miles of line paid for by the power customers of the Tennessee Valley over the past 85 years. The transmission system is an integral part of TVA’s power system, which has delivered power at 99.999 percent reliability for the past twenty years. TVA is also a major reliability coordinator for large sections of the U.S. power grid, helping ensure that America’s vital energy infrastructure runs safely and reliably every day. 

TVA does not receive any funds from the Federal Government, but rather is completely self-funded from its power revenues and the public debt markets, and TVA’s obligations are not guaranteed by the Federal government. TVA has among the lowest power rates in the country, which in combination with the high reliability of its transmission system, have led to significant economic expansion in U.S. manufacturing and other industries and businesses in the Tennessee Valley. Over the last five years, TVA has supported the creation or retention of 400,000 jobs and $48 billion in new capital investment.

“Our hard-working employees remain focused on serving our customers and working safely and productively for the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Johnson. “We remain committed to our mission of providing clean, reliable, low cost power, economic development and environmental stewardship. This is our top priority.”

Senator Lamar Alexander responded to President Trump's proposal.

“This looney idea of selling TVA’s transmission lines seems to keep popping up regardless of who is president," Sen. Alexander said. "It has zero chance of becoming law. When President Obama proposed this in 2013, all it did was undermine TVA’s credit, raise interest rates on its debt, and threaten to increase electric bills for 9 million Tennessee Valley ratepayers.”'

Senator Bob Corker also released a statement on the proposal.

“Unlike the federal government, for years, the state of Tennessee has made the tough decisions necessary to run a debt free road program while maintaining its infrastructure in a responsible way,” Sen. Corker said. “While I have consistently offered solutions to the fiscal challenges facing our federal highway program, I am open to alternative proposals and applaud the administration for envisioning a new way to leverage many of our existing resources to spur further state infrastructure investment.”

PREVIOUS STORY: President Trump is proposing that the Tennessee Valley Authority and other power utilities owned by the federal government should consider selling their assets to generate taxpayer funds to help pay for the $1.5 trillion infrastructure program being outlined today.

In the White House infrastructure plan submitted to Congress today as part of the proposed fiscal 2019 budget blueprint, the Trump administration said TVA and other similar federal agencies should be given the authority to divest of their assets "where the agencies can demonstrate an increase in value from the sale would optimize the taxpayer value for Federal assets." President Trump said the potential divestiture of the federal agencies is part of "a roadmap for the Congress to draft and pass the most comprehensive infrastructure bill in our nation's history."

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.