10:23 AM EDT
John James Duncan Jr., R-TN 2nd

Mr. DUNCAN. I thank the gentleman from Arkansas for yielding me this time. I rise in support of this resolution congratulating the Tennessee Valley Authority on its 75th anniversary.

First, I want to commend my good friend the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Cramer) for bringing this resolution to the floor. He has served with great distinction as chairman of the TVA Caucus in the Congress.

Since the Congress passed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933, TVA has played an important role, not only in the Tennessee Valley but in the course of the history of this Nation as well. TVA carries out its three-pronged mission of providing reliable electric power, economic development, and stewardship of the Nation's fifth largest river system by tapping into the talents of its 12,000 employees, many of whom live in my district.

Right from the start, TVA tried to establish a problem-solving approach to fulfilling its mission of resource management for power production, navigation, flood control, malaria prevention, reforestation, or erosion control, and each was studied in its broadest context. TVA weighed each issue in relation to all the others.

Today the Tennessee Valley is one of the most beautiful and fertile places in the Nation. With its beauty, hardworking people and abundant natural resources, the Tennessee Valley would have developed in a good and prosperous way without TVA, as did other areas of the South where there was no TVA.

However, the establishment of the TVA led to the development of cutting-edge fertilizers and improved farming techniques and helped to revive the Tennessee Valley and forever changed its landscape. With the completion of dams, TVA brought electricity and flood control to the Tennessee Valley, providing stability and vital insect control programs that helped drastically reduce deaths caused by mosquitos and increase the quality of life.

By the end of the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley was probably the most thoroughly mapped region in the country. Before long, however, TVA was called upon to use this expertise to provide then-General Eisenhower with the most detailed topographic maps of German-occupied France and, later, Japan during World War II.

TVA played an important role in the Manhattan Project, the development of our first atomic bomb. At a time when the enrichment of uranium in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, consumed around 15 percent of the electricity of the United States, TVA rose to the occasion and met those power needs and helped end World War II.

I am proud to say that TVA is headquartered in my congressional district. I am proud of TVA's president and CEO Tom Kilgore, and Chairman Bill Sansom, two good friends of mine, and of the leadership they provide to TVA in this challenging time for utilities across the country.

I believe as we move into the future and look for more sustainable sources of energy, that TVA will continue to provide the leadership to help the valley become even stronger and more economically vibrant. I can tell you that my region has become one of the most popular places to move to in the entire country, and that is in no small part because of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the role it plays in the lives of our citizens.

The citizens of the Tennessee Valley have been better off because of the work and historic mission of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.