Tennessee Valley Authority


Tennessee Valley Authority
n.
a federal corporation organized in 1933 to provide cheap electric power, flood control, irrigation, etc. by developing the entire basin of the Tennessee River, esp. by building dams and reservoirs

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(abbr TVA)
an independent US government organization that provides cheap electricity to seven southern states. TVA was established in 1933 by President Franklin D Roosevelt, as part of his New Deal(1), to encourage the economic development of the area around the Tennessee River. As well as providing electricity it builds and operates dams, controls floods and protects the soil.

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▪ government agency, United States
 U.S. government agency established in 1933 to control floods, improve navigation, improve the living standards of farmers, and produce electrical power along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. The Tennessee River was subject to severe periodic flooding, and navigation along the river's middle course was interrupted by a series of shoals at Muscle Shoals, Ala. In 1933 the U.S. Congress passed a bill establishing the TVA, thus consolidating all the activities of the various government agencies in the area and placing them under the control of a single one. A massive program of building dams, hydroelectric generating stations, and flood-control projects ensued. The fusion of a broad range of specific powers with a sense of social responsibility to the region made the TVA significant as a prototype of natural-resource planning. Its jurisdiction is generally limited to the drainage basin of the Tennessee River, which covers parts of seven states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The TVA is a public corporation governed by a board of three directors appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The constitutionality of the TVA was immediately challenged upon the agency's establishment, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority (1936) and in later decisions.

      All dams in the system are managed as a unit, with primary emphasis on flood control, which has proved extremely effective; no major flood damage has occurred on the Tennessee River since the system of dams was completed. The TVA has built navigation locks into each of its nine main dams, deepened and otherwise improved the channel, and encouraged the development of port facilities along the river. As a result, traffic on the river increased from 33,000,000 ton-miles in 1933 to several billion ton-miles by the late 20th century. The cheap electricity provided by the new dams spurred the industrial development of what had been a chronically depressed regional economy. The waters impounded by the dams created the “Great Lakes of the South,” which the TVA helped develop into a prime boating, fishing, and recreational area. The TVA carried out a vigorous mosquito eradication program on its reservoirs, thus eliminating the endemic malaria that had previously been traceable to the river. The agency also improved forestry and land conservation practices in the region.

      The most controversial activity of the TVA is the production and sale of electric power, which has been resisted by privately owned power companies. The TVA contracts with municipalities and cooperatives to supply wholesale power for distribution and has joined with them in purchasing the facilities of privately owned electric-utility companies in the region. These purchases have established an integrated power service area in which the TVA is the sole supplier of power. The TVA power system, which includes more than 50 dams, as well as coal-fired thermal plants and operable nuclear plants, possesses a huge generating capacity. Power is sold in bulk, about half to federal agencies and half to large industries and locally owned municipal and cooperative distribution systems; and electric rates in the Tennessee River valley are among the lowest in the nation. Because of critics' claims that the low rates are made possible by the TVA's tax exemption and lack of obligation to show a profit on its operations, a schedule of payments was worked out by which the TVA would refund to the national treasury over a period of years all federal electric-power investment in the valley. The TVA nuclear power plant program was seriously curtailed in the 1980s because of quality control problems and safety deficiencies in several plants already completed or under construction.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — (TVA). A government owned corporation that conducts a unified program of resource development for the advancement of economic growth in the Tennessee Valley region. The Authority s program of activities includes flood control, navigation… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — (TVA) n. U.S. federal corporation constituted in 1933 to supply economical electric power and irrigation and flood control to the Tennessee Valley by developing the Tennessee River and making dams and reservoirs …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Tennessee Valley Authority —   [ tenəsiː vælɪ ɔː θɔrɪtɪ], Abkürzung TVA [tiːviː eɪ], Behörde, die 1933 im Rahmen der Politik des New Deal in den USA gebildet wurde; Sitz Knoxville. Aufgabe war, in Fortführung älterer Projekte, die Entwicklung des Notstandsgebiets im… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — ☆ Tennessee Valley Authority n. a federal corporation organized in 1933 to provide cheap electric power, flood control, irrigation, etc. by developing the entire basin of the Tennessee River, esp. by building dams and reservoirs …   English World dictionary

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — Infobox Company company name = Tennessee Valley Authority company company type = Government owned independent corporation company slogan = foundation = 1933 founder = location = Knoxville, Tennessee, USA key people = Tom Kilgore (current CEO)… …   Wikipedia

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — Pour les articles homonymes, voir TVA. La Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) est une entreprise américaine chargée de la navigation, du contrôle des crues, de la production d électricité et du développement économique de la vallée du Tennessee.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — Das Logo der Organisation Anlagen der TVA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — An agency of the United States Government, employing almost 18,000 persons, established to develop the Tennessee river for the production of electric power and for other purposes connected with flood control, the improvement of navigation,… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — (TVA)   A federal agency established in 1933 to develop the Tennessee river valley region of the southeastern U.S., and which is now nation s largest power producer.   ***   A federal agency established in 1933 to develop the Tennessee river… …   Energy terms

  • Tennessee Valley Authority — (TVA)    The TVA was established by an act of Congress on 18 May 1933 during the “First Hundred Days” of the New Deal. The TVA was to utilize and control the Tennessee River through the creation of hydroelectric schemes and irrigation systems.… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era


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