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Sen. Reid’s ‘Driving Nevada Forward’ bus tour stops in Pershing, Humboldt counties



WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – Nevada Sen. Harry Reid brought his “Driving Nevada Forward” bus tour through Pershing and Humboldt counties today, making stops in Lovelock, Winnemucca and the Blue Mountain Geothermal Facility on the way to the tour’s final destination in Elko.  He saw firsthand how his efforts to create jobs and turn the economy around are putting Nevadans back to work.

Pershing County

In Lovelock, Sen. Reid visited employees of the Coeur Rochester silver and gold mine, where Luke Russel, vice president for environmental services at the mine, credited Reid for his instrumental role in reopening and expanding the mine, which created 200 jobs in Pershing County.

He was also met by Pershing County Commissioner Roger Mancebo, who thanked Senator Reid for securing a record-breaking $23 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for the county during 2009, not only saving jobs but helping fund necessary services like police, fire fighters and education. PILT allows for federal payments to Nevada counties to help offset losses in property taxes for nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries.

However, these are just a few of the ways Senator Reid has stood up for those in Pershing, including:

  • Securing $2,277,081 of Economic Recovery Act funding for Presco Energy to employ new innovative geothermal exploration techniques in Rye Patch, which will address unique geographical challenges in the area and could be applied to other exploration projects to create additional jobs;
  • Providing $28,728 in Economic Recovery Act funding for Justice Assistance Grants to provide Pershing County law enforcement the resources they need;
  • Securing $1,305,000 for wastewater, sewer and water infrastructure projects in Lovelock.

Humboldt County

Senator Reid then visited residents of Winnemucca and toured the Blue Mountain Geothermal Facility in Humboldt County, which is putting Nevadans back to work as a direct result of some of the $160 million of Recovery Act funding that Reid secured for geothermal development.

Nevada Geothermal Power owns and operates the 49.5MW Blue Mountain ‘Faulker 1’ geothermal power project.  Developed in conjunction with Ormat Technologies, it was placed into service on October 12, 2009, four months ahead of schedule.  It is linked to the NV Energy power grid via a 21-mile power line, also built by Nevada Geothermal Power.

“One of the reasons I worked so hard to pass the Recovery Act is because of companies like Blue Mountain Geothermal.  This project is exactly the type of initiative we need to ensure Nevada creates good-paying jobs and moves our economy forward.  With so many natural resources like wind, solar and geothermal, Nevada is poised to lead the nation in clean energy jobs and development,” said Reid.

Last month, Senator Reid ushered through legislation to ensure counties like Humboldt receive their fair share of the money generated from geothermal energy development on public lands beginning this year.  Until Senator Reid stepped in, this funding had always been diverted to the federal government.

Senator Reid has a long track record fighting for the residents of Humboldt County.

  • Fighting to stop Humboldt County from becoming a dumping ground for California trash. He said such a proposal was “not only a threat to our sovereignty, but to our dignity,” and noted it would endanger the Humboldt River and an aquifer located less than 100 feet from the dump
  • Securing $1.6 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding in 2009 to fund vital county services;
  • Delivering $500,000 for the McDermitt Combined School for technology innovation;
  • Creating jobs by providing $7.2 million of Recovery Act funding to resurface parts of U.S. 95.

On Monday, Reid kicked off the “Driving Nevada Forward” bus tour in his hometown of Searchlight, was endorsed by first-responder groups in Pahrump, and attended a rally with 1,200 supporters in Las Vegas. On Tuesday the tour made stops and met with supporters in Minden, Carson City, Silver Springs, Fallon, Fernley and Reno.

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