Tennessee Valley Authority proceeds with gas plant despite environmental compliance concerns

Despite warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency, Tennessee Valley Authority is pushing forward with plans for a new gas-powered plant in Tennessee.

Travis Loller reports for The Associated Press.


In short:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized the Tennessee Valley Authority for its narrow scope in environmental assessments, suggesting a biased selection of gas over renewable options.
  • Upcoming protests and criticism from government officials highlight ongoing concerns about the project's environmental and regulatory shortcomings.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority remains committed to transitioning from coal, but faces legal challenges and criticism for not prioritizing renewable energy options more aggressively.

Key quote:

“They could build twice the amount of solar that they say they need and twice the amount of battery storage they say they need.”

— Dennis Wamsted, energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Why this matters:

The TVA, a major utility provider, argues that the new facility is essential to meet the growing power demands of the region and to ensure reliability in its energy grid. The EPA's caution likely stems from broader federal objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency has emphasized the importance of shifting away from natural gas to avert the worst impacts of global warming. This includes promoting renewable energy technologies and improving energy efficiency rather than doubling down on fossil fuels.

Be sure to read Derrick Z. Jackson’s 2021 piece: “Code Red” for climate means reducing US oil and gas production.

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