WASHINGTON — The nomination of automotive executive Marvin T. Runyon as designated chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority was approved 12 to 1 today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, but the prospects for Senate floor action were clouded.
The dissenting committee vote was cast by Sen. John B. Breaux (D-La.), who said Runyon's lack of experience in nuclear energy, flood control, the environment and other TVA issues is a "fatal defect" in his nomination for the $82,500-a-year post.
"TVA should not be on-the-job training for the chairman," Breaux said after the panel's vote. "TVA's got some serious problems."
Breaux complained that Runyon had "expressed no ideas about what he'll do" about TVA's problems and had refused to meet with Tennessee Valley residents to hear their concerns.
Breaux said he would object to an accelerated floor vote, saying he will express his reservations when the full Senate takes up the nomination.