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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

TN bill would boost public's role in TVA decision-making process

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Friday, March 22, 2024   

Tennesseans want more say in how the Tennessee Valley Authority plans for their future electricity needs and a bill now in Congress could give the public more influence.

The "TVA Increase Rate of Participation Act," would require a more open decision-making process for the utility.

Brianna Knisley, director of public power campaigns for Appalachian Voices, said the TVA is currently developing its new Integrated Resource Plan to meet future energy demands. The bill would require more public participation in the plan's proceedings.

"Right now the stakeholders who get to provide input early on in the IRP process are all hand-selected by TVA," Knisley pointed out. "You can't choose to be in that IRP working group. And those are the only folks who get substantial input in the architecture of the IRP, as it's being designed."

The utility serves more than 10 million people across six states. The TVA said it is reviewing the legislation. A draft of the plan will be published at a later date. The TVA said it already has a "robust stakeholder engagement plan."

After the plan is released, Knisley noted public input happens during what's known as the scoping phase of the National Environmental Policy Act. Open houses are set up, where the TVA answers questions from the public. Knisley encouraged Tennesseans to raise any of their concerns during the public and virtual hearings.

"I think additional public input into our region's long-term energy plan is only going to strengthen outcomes," Knisley contended. "And make that long-term energy plan better meet the needs of the Tennessee Valley, as a whole."

She added it is important for Tennesseans to work with Congress on the best way to improve public input in the TVA decision-making process.

Disclosure: Appalachian Voices contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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