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Last updated 3:02AM ET
March 5, 2021
Tenn. Lawmakers Unsure About TVA Rate Hike
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Tennessee's congressional members are at odds over how to respond to a hike in TVA rates as the nation's largest public utility approved a 20 percent rate increase last week.

Tennessee Valley Authority officials have said skyrocketing fuel costs and a three-year drought reduced the utility's ability to generate cheap hydroelectric power.

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn said the United States is not developing enough of its own energy supplies and wants the Congress to return early from summer recess to address opening up more oil, gas and coal fields.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper said there is no congressional oversight of the utility or its distributors and many distributors are not fully efficient and have excess funds that are not passed on to the consumer.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said the explosive growth of China is also a major factor contributing to the high cost of coal.

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