Jan 5, 2023 - News

Beth Geer begins post on TVA board

Portrait of Beth Geer.

Beth Geer. Photo: Courtesy of the TVA

As scrutiny of the Tennessee Valley Authority ratchets up, a prominent environmental sustainability advocate is assuming her role on the energy giant's powerful board of directors.

Driving the news: Beth Geer, the chief of staff to former Vice President Al Gore, was sworn in Wednesday as a board member for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

  • In addition to Geer, five other board members were sworn into office Wednesday.

The intrigue: Geer, who lives in Brentwood and is married to Vanderbilt political science professor John Geer, was confirmed by a voice vote in the U.S. Senate following a bruising confirmation process.

  • Geer had to answer for a one-word tweet from 2015 in which she called Republican Sen. Joni Ernst's response to President Obama's State of the Union address "hideous."
  • Republicans were also skeptical of her ties to Gore. After months of delay, Geer's confirmation cleared a key Senate committee in November by a narrow vote of 11-9.

What she's saying: During the confirmation process last year, Geer touted her experience collaborating with "the world's foremost environmental experts."

  • "Sustainability does not just make sense for our environment; it makes good sense for economic progress," Geer said.

The latest: The newly composed board will be taking the reins of the TVA as it faces questions over its response to last month's winter storm. NES and other energy utilities powered by TVA were asked to conserve energy by instituting rolling blackouts lasting about 10 minutes each.

  • In response, Mayor Cooper says he spoke to the TVA and congressional leaders about convening an after-action review to take a hard look at the state's critical infrastructure and examine communications breakdowns.

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