Throughout much of the history of the TVA, opponents of the authority have argued that it is too costly and that government should not compete with private enterprise. In 1959, Congress authorized the TVA to issue bonds and notes to be used in financing needed additions to power system capacity. The power system became self-financing and by the early 1990s had paid back more than $2.5 billion into the U.S. Treasury. Congressional funding of the TVA's nonpower programs was phased out in the late 1990s, leaving it totally self-supporting.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.