In a style of careless statement of facts so common in media today, Ms. Gerber addressed the issue of the fact that TVA is funded solely by power sales but added a qualifier that was either an honest error or a purposely misleading statement.
In fact, it was not 20 years ago that TVA became self-financing. No, TVA became self-financing thru power sales in 1959. Say it again. NINETEEN FIFTY NINE. However, TVA also manages public lands, campgrounds, and recreation areas for which it once received federal dollars. I assume that is the federal funding of which she speaks. But for the last 20 years, TVA has been forced to pay for all the land and recreation area needs out of power funds. In other parts of the country, federal dollars pay for these area thru the Department of the Interior programs. That means that in the Tennessee Valley we are basically taxed twice for these public lands, campgrounds, boat launches, etc. What other power company has to do that? NONE.
Finally, how much money did TVA receive for non-power statuatory obligations back when they were still appropriated? It would have been approximately 3-5% of the total revenue in the last year received. The vast majority of TVA's funding came from the sale of power even back then, and ONE HUNDRED PERCENT from sales of electricity now. Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?
This is very important to understand because it means market forces have a real impact on TVA in spite of the fact that is is federally owned. If rates get too high, businesses leave the Valley. Businesses leaving is not in line with the TVA mission. If the TVA mission is not being achieved, then the TVA board starts getting calls and before long actions are being taken to put things right.