in: Eras in Social Welfare History, Federal Laws and also Actions, Great Depression, New Deal, Organizations

The Tennesview Valley Authority: Electricity for All

Editor’s Note: This enattempt is composed of a number of various articles and also reports copied from the New Deal Network-related More information is easily accessible in the Source note at the finish of the enattempt.

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A three-member board directed TVA: Arthur Morgan, Harcourt Morgan, and David Lilienthal.

A three-member board directed TVA: Arthur Mbody organ, Harcourt Morgan, and also David Lilienthal. Each had actually exceptionally various principles around the direction TVA might and also must take. A fight between the 3 administrators went on from 1933 till March, 1938, once Arthur Morgan was fired.

Arthur Morgan, the former president of Antioch College, was an advocate of social planning that experienced in TVA an opportunity to construct a participating connection between federal government and also company. He wanted to save rates at a comparative level to avoid alienating personal market. Mbody organ believed the greater objective of TVA wregarding eliminate poverty in the Tennescheck out Valley, and also to serve as a version for national regional planning. He had actually strongly-held anticapitalist, communitarian worths, however was frequently accoffered of holding paternalistic and authoritarian positions.

Harcourt Morgan, the just Southerner on the board, was an advocate for southern commercial farmers and was suspicious of experiments in federal government planning.

David Lilienthal was an outspoken advocate of public power, that wanted TVA to compete directly through personal power interests.

Harcourt Mbody organ and also Lilienthal inevitably created a coalition on the Board against Arthur Mbody organ. This division resulted in public conflict between the board members, and also in 1938 Roosevelt dismissed Arthur Morgan.

In 1938 Harcourt Morgan became the new head of the Authority, complied with in 1941 by Lilienthal. By 1941 TVA had end up being the biggest producer of electric power in the USA.

Opplace to TVA

The strongest opposition to TVA came from power companies, who resented the cheaper power accessible through TVA and experienced it as a danger to exclusive breakthrough. They charged that the federal government’s involvement in the power company was unconstitutional. The fight versus TVA was led by Wendell Willkie, president of the Republic and Southern Company type of, a big power utility company.

Wilson Dam, completed in 1924, was the initially dam under the authority of TVA, developed in 1933.

During the 1930s there were many type of court cases brought versus TVA. The Alabama Power Company type of carried a suit against TVA that was suggested before the Supreme Court. They asserted that in entering into the electrical energy organization, the government had gone beyond its Constitutional powers. In February 1936 the Supreme Court ruled that TVA had actually the authority to generate power at Wilchild Dam, to offer the electrical power, and to distribute that power. In 1939 the Court uporganized the constitutionality of the TVA Act.

In 1935 John D. Battle, Executive Secretary of the National Coal Association, testified before a Congressional Hearing on TVA. Battle spoke for many kind of in the energy business that were involved around the federal government’s enattempt right into the power business:

Statement of John D. Battle, Executive Secretary of the National Coal Association , in Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives (74th Cong., 1st Sess., 1935).

 <…>It is my desire on befifty percent of the coal market to register with the committee our opposition to this bill and also to express the hope that this committee will certainly be unwilling to provide it a favorable report.

Appearing here this particular day as spokesman of the bituminous coal industry of this Nation, I wish to make it clear that the coal industry is not opposed to the Government building dams designed to proccasion soil erosion; is not opposed to the Government erecting dams to control flood waters; neither is it opposed to building of dams to enhance navigation on the rivers of this country. There is just one phase of this regimen to which we object a lot of seriously, and that is the Federal Government spfinishing the taxpayers’ money for the erection of power plants which, as we feel, are not needed for the very easy factor that mainly, throughout the country, there is an abundance of power capacity, and particularly in the Tennesview Valley region there is already an excess of capacity. We are at a loss to understand also just how the power created at Government-constructed plants deserve to be disposed of except to take the location of privately owned power plants currently offering that neighborhood – the good majority of which plants usage coal in the production of that power.

A great deal has been sassist around the social experiment. We method this subject from the standpoint first of the employment of our civilization. There is a huguy facet affiliated. Tright here are around 400,000 males working in the coal mines of this nation. It is their only means of livelihood. The regimen, as put forward by the Government, is calculated, in our opinion, to ruin the jobs of a number of these men. When the jobs are damaged tright here is no sale for the coal, the investment in the building decreases or vanishes. Something like 65 percent of each dollar passist for the cost of producing coal goes to the mine worker; 20 or 25 percent of the dollar goes to the purchase of product and also supplies; and there is a considerable percentage of that sum that is phelp instraight to the worker employed in those markets giving the mines.

I wish to call your attention to the fact that we cannot account for those employed by coal mines by the mere variety of those directly involved in mining operations. We have actually a case analogous to a soldier in the trenches; to save a male in the coal mines calls for numerous civilization behind him; and also when we consider those indirectly employed, this industry is straight responsible for several million peoples’ livelihood. There are those that are not just direct dependents of the workers who are connected, however all of those engaged in the circulation of coal throughout the Nation, and also those involved in industries that supply the coal mining companies with the products, that are likewise vitally influenced.

It is our estimate that for each ton of coal displaced by some form of energy or fuel it implies a loss of a day’s work-related to some person either employed directly or instraight in the bituminous coal-mining industry.<…>

<…>I repeat, we did not come right here to go into very excellent information, from a technological standallude, on this proplace. I merely wanted to bring you an concept, an principle that this great industry feels that it is being shoved off to one side by our own Government. We perform not believe the Government has ever before realized the significant implication of what it is doing. I soptimal, as I say, in terms of an market, not just a section. T.V.A. exemplifies what it has actually been proposed to perform throughout the Nation.

Tbelow is no displace on the part of this sector to the electrification of America. We rather feel that tright here is a require for an expansion of electrical current to the rural areas. But we carry out not feel that it is the attribute of the Federal Government to use the taxpayers’ money for the promovement of these jobs. We feel that the Amerihave the right to organization man is much more qualified of visualizing the requirements for electrical power and also much more qualified of creating means and indicates through which it may be furniburned to prospective customers than is the Government itself.

Just as there is a demand also for power, I think we might well depend upon private sectors to accomplish that demand also. I wish it made clear right here that we hold no brief whatever before for the exclusive power suppliers or the utilities of this country. Our interemainder is in the manufacturing and also sale of bituminous coal. An enormous amount of this coal is marketed to the private utilities. They are among our incredibly great customers.

When power have the right to be produced by hydro on an absolutely business basis, all determinants being taken right into consideration, even more cheaply than by coal, then we are willing to admit the justice of the competition. That is not the case mostly this particular day via Government hydro jobs. <…>


Letters From the Field By Lorena Hickok

Lorena Hickok, Jounalist

In 1933 Harry Hopkins, Director of the Federal Emergency Relief Organization (FERA), asked journalist Lorena Hickok to take a trip through the USA and report on the state of the country. Hickok was in the Tenneswatch Valley in the time of June, 1934, and sent 2 reports to Hopkins recording her impression of the local scene and the local reaction to TVA.

 1. Letters from the Field: June 6, 1934

2. Letters from the Field: June 11, 1934

Hickok likewise sent out a brief individual note to Mrs. Roosevelt concerning TVA in the time of the exact same duration.

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Letters from the Field: Overview – June 6, 1934

TVA and the Federal Theatre Project

In 1937 the Federal Theatre Project, an agency of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which had been created to administer occupational for unemployed actors and theater workers, developed the Living Newspaper Power. The Living Newsrecords were dramatic productions about modern worries. Power dramatized the history of the electrical industry, and also Scene Fifteen demonstprices why many kind of human being felt the Tennesview Valley Authority was so crucial.

The Living Newspapers were not ssuggest “mouthpieces” for New Deal Programs. Their productions sometimes angered members of the Roosevelt Administration. Ethiopia. a Living Newspaper about the invasion of that nation by Italy, was censored by the Administration. But Power clearly supported TVA’s missions. When Harry Hopkins, magazine of the WPA, observed Power he went backphase and congratulated the cast:

“I want to tell you that this is an excellent show. It’s quick and also funny, it renders you laugh and it provides you cry and also it provides you think–I don’t recognize what more anyone have the right to ask of a display. I desire this play and plays favor it done from one end of the nation to the other… Now let’s acquire one thing clear: you will take a lot of criticism on this play. People will certainly say it’s propaganda. Well, I say what of it? If it’s propaganda to educate the consumer who’s paying for power, it’s around time someone had some propaganda for him. The significant power service providers have actually invested millions on propaganda for the utilities. It’s about time that the customer had actually a mouthpiece. I say more plays like Power and even more power to you.”

Source: TVA: Electricity for All,, New Deal Netjob-related, (April 23, 2014)