Advocacy Groups Say TVA Bought Luxury Jets, Helicopter

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A clean air group said it learned that TVA spent an estimated $40 million worth of luxury jets and a specialized Mercedes Benz helicopter, formerly used by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

According to the FAA registry, executives at TVA have authorized the purchase of these jets and helicopter in the last 2.5 years, using ratepayer money to finance these purchases, The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said.

The group said the aircraft includes "two Cessna Citation Excel jets with the N-Numbers (also know as tail numbers visible on the planes) N561PG and N560GJ. These are sweet rides costing about $13 million each and have operational costs of about $1,800-$2,000 an hour. The TVA millionaire jet setters didn’t just stop at fancy jets, they also decided there was a need for a luxury helicopter, and boy did Johnson score a nice one. The Mercedes Benz style EC145 helicopter N-number N482AE will get you to the office in real style. To be clear, several of TVA’s helicopters appear to be necessary for transmission work and these can be found on this FAA list, but the approximately $7 million luxury helicopter with the $1.5 million “Mercedes Benz style” interior which includes fine hard wood paneling is not likely to be seen inspecting transmission lines any time soon. A former TVA employee was 'shocked' when he learned about the hardwood floors in the helicopter."

Elder Jimmie Garland, NCAA vice president, said, “The recent findings, revealing the reckless expenditures made by TVA and its staff, is evidence of the need for independent oversight of TVA to assure that Tennessee families are not being unfairly tasked by having them shoulder the burden of poor decision making by TVA and the local power companies.

“We call upon leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to enact legislation designed to reverse the current path TVA has chartered that is not in keeping with the original intent of the organization charter.”

Debbie Dooley, Tea Party co-founder and president of Conservatives for Energy Freedom, said, “It is time we drained the swamp at the top of TVA, pure and simple. “These purchases are further evidence that the self-regulated TVA monopoly is out of control, and CEO Bill Johnson needs to be replaced.”

Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said, “We are calling for a full investigation into these excessive purchases which have clearly taken place under Bill Johnson’s watch.

“Buying extravagant jets and helicopters is a hijacking of the TVA act, whose stated purpose is to protect the residential customers, not buy flashy toys for millionaire executives or cut backroom deals with private industry. This is the very definition of corruption of the TVA mission and is 'tone deaf' to the needs of our region when places like Memphis have the highest energy burdens of any city in the country.“

The full blog can be read here. Photos and videos of the jets and Mercedes Benz edition helicopter can be accessed here. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's Freedom of Information Act request can be found here.




Red Bank Announces New System To Communicate With Residents And Businesses

The City of Red Rank announced on Wednesday the establishment of a new system to communicate with residents and businesses. “We understand the importance of timely communication and ensuring that we keep our citizens in the loop regarding events affecting the City of Red Bank. As a result, we are pleased to announce that we are initiating a new notification service ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury for April 18: No Bills: ADKINS, THOMAS PRESTON W 39 M 0 1 CO 18000232 DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE BELLINGER, JESSE CLAY W 28 M 0 1 GS 1691190 DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE BYNUM, DEMETRIUS B 27 M 0 1 GS 1680226 POSS.OF FIREARM WHILE IN COMMISSION OF FELONY ... (click for more)

Refuting Racism

In an opinion piece, 5/18/18, Rev. Josh Woodrow referred to me and my fellow School Board member, Joe Smith, as racists and white supremacists because we spoke out against busing. I have never met or spoken with Rev. Woodrow so he knows nothing about me. The reverend obviously knows nothing about Joe Smith either. Seems one of the reverend’s hobbies is “brewing beer”. Maybe, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please Don’t Get Numb

Several weeks ago we woke up to learn there had been another shooting in Chattanooga and the next day there were two paragraphs on the fourth page of the newspaper.  It has become so common we as a society have grown numb to it and, when a teen-aged girl in Texas said she wasn’t surprised last week when eight students and two teachers were massacred in her school some 30 miles ... (click for more)

Ooltewah Rallies In 10th To Beat William Blount, 7-4, In Class 3A State Softball

(Story will be updated with Ooltewah's second game) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – In muggy humidity and searing heat, Ooltewah’s Lady Owls gutted out a heart-stopping 10-inning 7-4 victory over William Blount in the opening round of the TSSAA Class 3A state softball tournament Wednesday. It was every bit as difficult as it sounds. The Lady Owls (37-6) were down to their ... (click for more)

Baylor, McCallie Both Win In D-II Baseball

LEBANON, Tenn. – It will be another Baylor-McCallie battle here at Wilson Central High School Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 in the winner’s bracket of the Division II-AA baseball state championship. Baylor opened play with an 8-2 victory over Christian Brothers while McCallie posted an impressive 5-1 win over Memphis University School in the second game, despite having to sit ... (click for more)