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Opinion | All MLGW customers should benefit from whatever decision MGLW makes about TVA | Otis Sanford

ABC24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shared his point of view on the MLGW decision on whether to stay with TVA.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the biggest public policy decisions in decades for Memphis and Shelby County is just around the corner. It’s the decision by Memphis Light Gas and Water Division whether to stop buying electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The issue has been debated back and forth for some four years. And next Thursday, the utility’s board is expected to make its recommendation. Critics of the TVA insist that MLGW would save millions of dollars by getting electricity elsewhere – and those savings could be passed along to ratepayers. Based on how much our utility bills have been lately, that message resonates with most customers.

But others insist the projected savings are overstated. Plus switching from the TVA could jeopardize reliability. And now, leaders in Shelby County’s six suburban cities are speaking with one voice to urge MLGW to remain with the TVA. They plan to offer a non-binding resolution in support of the TVA ahead of the utility’s all-important Thursday meeting.

The suburbs are also demanding representation on the board of MLGW, which is owned exclusively by Memphis ratepayers. I’ve said before that there should be suburban members on the board and hopefully that will happen. But the wishes of suburbanites should not carry more weight than others.

In short, whether to leave the TVA should be based on sound reasoning that benefits all customers no matter where we live.

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