A Republican-dominated US Congressional committee has cut US$70M from the state-owned Tennessee Valley Authority’s budget, despite opposition from the Clinton Administration. The cut is likely to eliminate programmes on dam maintenance and flood control, and unless TVA finds another source of money for the 1999 budget TVA will be without federal funding for these non-power programmes for the first time in its history.

Congress requires TVA to provide navigational aids, flood control, dam maintenance and other programmes for waterways in the Tennessee valley. It has always paid for such programmes, but after the appropriation hit a high of US$222M in 1980 it has been dwindling, to US$70M in this year’s budget. The issue went to committee after the Senate voted to include US$70M in next year’s budget while the House appropriated no money.