In his 1935 Congressional testimony, John D. Battle, Executive Secretary of the National Coal Association, criticized the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to produce and distribute hydroelectric power. The federal government should not compete directly with private energy producers and utility companies, Battle argued.
How did Battle distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate functions of the federal government? How did the problem of unemployment in the coal industry justify his opposition to government-led energy production?
How do Battle’s arguments compare to more recent-day efforts to “save coal”?
Statement of John D. Battle, Executive Secretary of the National Coal Association [excerpts], in Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives (74th Cong., 1st Sess., 1935).
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