Legislation would break out $45 million for Hoover Dam locked up by red tape

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — When Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s, it cost $49 million — about $760 million in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.

Now, congressional leaders are mounting an effort to free up $45 million in the Colorado River Dam Fund that has been “inaccessible for decades due to bureaucracy and federal red tape.”

U.S. Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., and U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., have introduced the bipartisan Hoover Dam Act. The legislation seeks to put the money to work for operations, maintenance and improvement projects at the dam.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema. Every senator from Nevada, Arizona and California is listed as a cosponsor. The House legislation is cosponsored by every representative from Nevada, along with six other representatives from Arizona and California.

An image of the upstream face of Hoover Dam. 1935 (Image: UNLV Special Collections)

The Help Hoover Dam Act is endorsed by the American Public Power Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Colorado River Commission of Nevada, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Irrigation and Electrical Districts Association of Arizona, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and others.

“I am proud to lead the bipartisan, bicameral Help Hoover Dam Act in the House to cut through federal red tape and free tens of millions of dollars in long-stranded funding for Hoover Dam improvement projects,” Lee said. “We can’t let government bureaucracy stop us from making necessary investments in the Hoover Dam — Nevadans depend on it for clean power, precious water resources, and countless recreational opportunities. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will help keep our energy prices from going up, protect our natural resources, and save taxpayers money.”

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Bureaucracy is holding back millions of dollars in funding for critical repairs, according to U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev. “I’m proud to help introduce this legislation to cut through red tape and allow these funds – which have been inaccessible for decades – to be used to support the Hoover Dam and prevent unnecessary rate hikes for Nevadans,” she said.

“Hoover Dam is known for providing water and hydroelectric power to millions of users along the Colorado River, as well as being an iconic attraction for tourists to Southern Nevada,” U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said. “I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation which will free up needed funding for operation and maintenance costs and ensure the continued viability of this Western icon.”

U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif., who represents part of eastern Los Angeles County, said much of the development in California and the Southwest wouldn’t have been possible without water and electricity supplied by Hoover Dam. “With strained resources worsened by ongoing drought cycles, the Help Hoover Dam Act will ensure continued delivery of water and power for generations to come, while requiring zero additional federal dollars.”

Original News Source Link – KLAS

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