TVA’s Lack Of Transparency Prompts Criticism Once Again

Photo: TVA CEO Jeff Lyash Photo Credit:

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a large regional government agency, declines to share salary information for any of their staff despite the fact that practically every other government employee’s salary is public record. 

After relocating to East Tennessee from Canada where his salary was somewhere around $2 million, TVA CEO Jeff Lyash, made $9.8 million in compensation and bonuses last year. 

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This is certainly not the first time the CEO’s salary has been called into question. 

In fact, Lyash was the highest paid federal employee in America back in 2020 and TVA directors voted in 2021 to raise his compensation package, which at the time was already sitting at over $7 million. 

This has all prompted criticism from Former President Trump and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) among others.

However, it seems that in general TVA does not want to disclose salary information for employees earning more than $500,000 a year. 

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During a U.S. House of Representatives hearing in Washington a few weeks ago, U.S. Representatives Cohen and Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville) leaned into Lyash about the secrecy regarding TVA employee salaries.

Lyash attempted to justify the lack of transparency and Rep. Cohen has been quoted as saying, “this can get ugly” in response.

“Keeping salaries secret opens the door to potentially inappropriate behavior if an agency is so inclined,” wrote Victor Ashe in an op-ed for Knox News. “I am not suggesting TVA does that, but complete transparency assures us that it could be exposed if it did happen.”


Ashe stated that he hopes a bipartisan quest to make TVA release the information will occur. He also contacted U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) office and got a quote from Spencer Hurwitz on staff.

“Senator Blackburn believes in transparency from the federal government, including at TVA,” stated Hurwitz.

The public’s opinion of TVA continues to be influenced by their promotion of left-leaning stances and the infamous “Christmas blackouts” that took place last year. 

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at

8 thoughts on “TVA’s Lack Of Transparency Prompts Criticism Once Again

  • July 18, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    TVA is a place for executives to feather their nest.

  • July 18, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    His salary is paid by Tennessee citizens every time we pay our power bill. No wonder power costs so much.

  • July 18, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    IMO that kind of salery for an “employee” paid by the tax payers is unjustified. NO ONE is worth that kind of money unless they own their own company. Who approved this and why did they approve it? No wonder they’re being so secretive zbout it. Seems to me the taxpayers are getting ripped off big time here! A full dicclosure for all salaries of TVA employees should be disclosed to the public immediately!

    • July 18, 2023 at 11:03 pm

      TVA has done this for at least 30 years. I can tell you for a fact that some of the jobs and salaries are unbelievable.
      I think it is time TVA becomes totally transparent. After all they are a public entity.

  • July 18, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    There is not a Public Company in America that gets to make this sort of call. Anyone can go to and find government salaries galore. What makes TVA any different? Public companies’ annual SEC filings require the reporting of salaries of Officers.
    Lyash should understand that he is sitting at the helm of an organization that has serious credibility issues. They have become just another out of touch bloated government bureaucracy. Their performance last winter was abysmal. Their incredible lack of planning insured they ran out of fuel for gas turbines and to recover they had to go to the “Spot Market” in the winter to make up the difference. The Spot Market! The most expensive place on the planet to purchase commodities. No wonder we had to pay additional add-on fees to TVA . Can’t wait to see what our $10,000,000 super hero does for us this winter. I hate being the textbook example of what it’s like to deal with a monopoly yet……here we are.

  • July 18, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    TWRA is same kinda deal. Not accountable to anyone. And our RINO legislators do ZIP.

  • July 20, 2023 at 2:12 am

    Taxpayers donot pay TVA salaries, Mostly your electric bills do. Gee, if we hadn’t shut down some of our fossil plants, or completed some of the planned nuclear plants, or maybe they should have built more windmills.
    So what should be the compensation for the responsibilities of a Multi-billion dollar company. Compensation is the key word, not salary. How transparent do you suppose our any of the other Power Companies are, or any of the other Fortune 500 Companies?
    We at least could have hired an American. TVA is a quasi-Government Government entity that is supposed to operate as a private company but follow all of the Federal Government Guidelines as their other created agencies.
    Surprised TVA hardly functions at all. Oh, yeah, hind site is always 20-20, when it comes to weather, unless you project it 10-12 years out. or John Kerry. It is amazing that many of Nuclear’s past opponents, (since 3 Mile Island) are advocating for it now. Loves the experts.

  • July 20, 2023 at 9:40 am

    TWRA dir. Jason Maxedon $178,968 (per. gov)
    A few years ago several private companies offered to buy and break up the TVA.
    Their proposal package showed how much less power would cost per household.
    The TVA has become a soft landing for former politicians, ie..Beth Harwell former state house speaker that sold out Tennesseeans for Haslams tax increases.
    Was/is on the board of directors I can’t imagine how much she gets overpaid.


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