Reid, Heller seek restoration of rural geothermal money |

Reid, Heller seek restoration of rural geothermal money

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Both Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev. have issued statements calling for restoration of geothermal lease revenues to rural Nevada counties.

“Rural Nevada needs geothermal revenue in these difficult economic times,” said Reid.

He said those monies support essential services and promote economic growth across rural Nevada.

Heller said a section hidden in the 2010 Interior Department appropriations act stripped counties of geothermal energy revenues originally enacted in 2005, a provision he said “robbed counties” of their share of the leasing money.

“For decades the American west has borne the burden of the federal government’s vast land holdings, losing out on substantial taxes and revenue that counties cannot collect or generate on federal lands located within their boundaries,” he said.

He said some of those counties are as much as 98 percent federal land. He said geothermal revenues are a vital funding stream for those counties, helping to fund services including law enforcement and emergency health care as well as search and rescue efforts on federal lands.

Both said the final legislation this year must provide that Nevada counties get their full payments.