Napolitano’s Hoover Dam Bill Becomes Law
(Washington, D.C.) Today, at a signing ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama signed the Hoover Power Allocation Act, a bill originally authored by Rep. Grace F. Napolitano that determines how the Hoover Dam will be run for the next fifty years and provides new access to power for Native American tribes and other groups.
“This has been a three-year, bipartisan effort,” Napolitano said. “This law will allow the Hoover Dam to continue providing inexpensive power to millions of people through 2067, and it allows new access to the dam’s low-cost electricity for Native American tribes and other groups. I thank Senator Harry Reid for his efforts to pass this bill in the Senate.”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) also attended the ceremony.
· The Hoover Power Allocation Act reauthorizes the Hoover Dam to continue distributing power through 2067, and sets aside 5 percent of its electricity for use by new entities, including Native American tribes, irrigation districts, electric cooperatives, and other entities that previously lacked access.
· Power to be generated from the Hoover Dam was first allocated by Congress in 1934 as the dam was nearing completion. In 1984, Congress re-allocated Hoover power through contracts with state, municipal and utility contractors until 2017. The passage of the Hoover Power Allocation Act reauthorizes the dam from 2017 to 2067 and gives contractors time to adjust to the changes.
· Over 29 million people in Arizona, California, and Nevada rely on power from the Hoover Dam, which is a clean, renewable source of energy.
· The California cities of Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Anaheim, Azusa, Banning, Colton, Riverside, and Vernon, as well as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Southern California Edison Company, and entities within Arizona and Nevada will continue to have access to electricity from the Hoover Dam.
· Hoover power contractors have invested over $1.3 billion to date in maintaining the Hoover Dam, and they will continue to pay for the operation, maintenance, replacement, and equipment upgrades for the dam’s power facilities under the new authorization.
· Existing power contractors have also committed to supporting the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, which provides for the protection of 26 endangered, threatened and sensitive species on the lower Colorado River.
· The bill was originally introduced in 2010 by Napolitano. For the new Congress beginning in 2011, Napolitano worked with Republican sponsor Joe Heck (R-NV) to pass the bill.
· Napolitano is the top Democrat on the House Water and Power Subcommittee.
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