The Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public power provider, announced late last week that it would invest $1.5 billion in reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants. The money will be used to install five smokestack-scrubber systems at plants in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky beginning in 2005. Stephen Smith, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, described the move as “good news,” because the scrubbers will help reduce acid rain and haze in the region. The TVA is also spending $1 billion to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from its power plants.