Rep. Yonts Unhappy With TVA Board Meeting Transparency

Jan 10, 2014

State Representative Brent Yonts (D-Greenville) has sent a letter to the President of the Tennessee Valley Authority voicing his dissatisfaction with the transparency of the company’s decisions. 

Yonts attended a November meeting of TVA Board members to give testimony on the then-proposed closure of two units at the Paradise Steam plant in Muhlenberg County. 

Yonts said as the meeting proceeded, it quickly became apparent that Board members only read from prepared motions and neglected to listen to or debate public comments before voting to close the plant.

Yonts said he was flabbergasted to see the processes on which the TVA Board conducts its meetings. 

“I just want to articulate to them that, as a representative in the Kentucky General Assembly,  I’m not happy with the way they treat such an important issue in Kentucky, sort of in an isolated vacuum where they’re not sensitive to what the public thinks or the impact on the public which in this case will cost 2,700 jobs unless they’re absorbed into the regional economy," said Yonts. 

Yonts said other issues at the meeting that concerned him included several long-standing members of the Board not knowing how to amend a motion and the Chair seeming to lose control of the direction of the discussion.

Yonts said the vote to close the plant came with no debate or meaningful discussion other than a vote based upon a motion prepared by someone other than the Board members. 

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has also questioned the transparency of the TVA board meeting and sent his own letter last month.  Conway was concerned that the board failed to properly disclose the information they based their decisions on to the public as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Yonts said he’s requested the data the board members reviewed as well as minutes from past meetings under the Freedom of Information Act and will decide then if further action needs to be taken.  

Read Rep. Yonts letter to the TVA in its entirety here

Read Attorney General Conway's letter to the TVA here