Tennessee Valley Authority

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Related to Tennessee Valley Authority: Works Progress Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority Act

Tennessee Valley Authority

The Norris Dam was one of the first major projects of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1942. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Norris Dam was one of the first major projects of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1942.

In 1933, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved the passage of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act (16 U.S.C.A. § 831 et seq.). The act provided for a source of hydroelectric power, control of a troublesome flood situation, revitalization of forest areas, and navigation and economic benefits for the region. These goals, announced during a devastating nationwide depression, made the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) an ambitious project of the era.

The idea for the project was originally developed in 1918, when two nitrate facilities and a dam were constructed at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on the Tennessee River. Previously the area had been prone to severe floods, and water travel was impeded by sandbanks. The area had abundant natural resources, but the surrounding basin was depleted, and the region had experienced a depressed economy even before the hard times suffered throughout the nation in the Depression of the 1930s.

Politicians and developers of the project envisioned a growth of industry and water power in the Tennessee Valley, as well as the manufacture of low-priced fertilizer and public control of the valuable resources. Debates over whether the project area should be rented to private parties or be controlled by the government continued throughout the 1920s. Senator george w. norris of Nebraska was instrumental in the passage of measures by Congress advocating government control, but these bills did not receive presidential approval until 1933, when Roosevelt based his Tennessee Valley plan on the Norris proposals.

Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Act authorized the establishment of a corporation owned by the federal government and directed by Arthur E. Morgan, the chairman, and Harcourt A. Morgan, and David Lilienthal. The early years of TVA were fraught with adversity, particularly when its constitutionality was questioned. Disputes between the directors and an investigation conducted by Congress hampered its initial achievements, but the TVA continued its work despite these difficulties.

The TVA succeeded in its projected goals. Since the development of its dams and reservoirs, the region has not been subjected to serious floods. The electrical system developed by the TVA afforded the region power at a low cost, and throughout the decades, power development has been extended to include coal and nuclear systems. The TVA also benefited agrarian interests by encouraging conservation, replenishment of forests, and agricultural and fertilizer research. Although the power program of the TVA is financially self-supporting today, other programs conducted by the authority are financed primarily by appropriations from Congress.

Further readings

Colignon, Richard A. 1997. Power Plays: Critical Events in the Institutionalization of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

Creese, Walter L. 1990. TVA's Public Planning: The Vision, the Reality. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Recommendation: To improve NAGPRA implementation, and to provide policymakers with information to assess the overall effectiveness of the act and to provide Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations readily accessible information on items that are available for repatriation, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority should direct their cultural resource management programs to report their repatriation data to National NAGPRA on a regular basis, but no less than annually, for each notice of inventory completion they have or will publish.
In one chapter, Walker revisits the Tennessee Valley Authority relocation practices, to demonstrate the numerous ways the state transformed East Tennessee.
In addition, Innogy said it anticipated building a new centre near Electrosynthesis, which will be designed to assemble modules for a Regenesys plant to be built for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Mississippi.
Kennedy and passed by the blandishments of Lyndon Johnson; and he never retreated from that or such other unpolitic notions as selling the Tennessee Valley Authority.
This facility will supply electricity to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
There's a frieze of a funeral cortege with some anonymous mourners and an anonymous dead person, near the giant words carved in stone: "I Hate War." There's even a replica of a dam with water flowing over it, called the "TVA Cascade," in honor of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The overall effect is of a historical theme park--as if war and bread lines were quaint relics of the past, instead of the seething modern problems they are.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is entering its third year of tests on one mat in Alabama, Bender reports.
In October, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced its endorsement of a joint venture between the Agro Power Development and Cogentrix companies.
He won acclaim with his second book, Dunbar's Cove (1957), a novel of a Tennessee farm family faced with the changes accompanying the Tennessee Valley Authority's dam-building in the 1930s.
Electricity produced by the range is sold under long-term Power Purchase Agreements with two Investment Grade counterparties; the Tennessee Valley Authority and Fayetteville Public Utilities.

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