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CEO DATELINE – Tennessee Valley Authority sued over trade association dues

Sept. 13, 2021
By Walt Williams

A coalition of environmental groups has sued the Tennessee Valley Authority over funds directed to the Edison Electric Institute and other business groups that employ “dirty energy lobbyists,” Courthouse News Service reported.

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TVA is a federal agency and therefore prohibited from many lobbying activities. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, the Center for Biological Diversity and five other environmental groups say they sifted through the agency’s financial and public records and found hundreds of contributions to third-party organizations that engage in lobbying, according to the news site. Among the contributions: $500,000 a year in dues to EEI.

“As the nation’s largest public power provider and a federal agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority needs to demonstrate leadership by halting the financing of groups propping up the fossil fuel economy,” Howard Crystal, legal director of the Center’s Energy Justice program, said in a statement. “Instead it funds these groups to do its dirty work while it moves forward with building new fossil gas plants.”

TVA declined to comment on the allegations when contacted by Courthouse News Service as it had yet to be served the suit.