Washington, D.C. — At the invitation of Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Secretaries Ken Salazar of Interior, Shaun Donovan of Housing and Urban Development, and Ray LaHood of Transportation visited Nevada to announce economic recovery and investment projects that will strengthen our economy, put Nevadans to work, and keep people in their homes.
Monday, June 29, 2009 – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of tracts of public lands in Nevada and other western states as prime zones for expediting utility-scale solar energy development. Also announced was funding for environmental studies and his plans to open new solar energy permitting offices, including one in Nevada, to speed reviews of industry proposals. This will put Nevadans to work faster in clean, renewable energy jobs that can’t be outsourced.
From the Pahrump Valley Times:
“U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the announcement during a joint press conference with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Monday.
“Salazar said he signed an order setting aside 670,000 acres of public land nationwide in six states for the solar energy zones.
“In the history of our country, we’ve never set aside lands for solar energy or renewable energy projects. We have 40 million acres set aside for oil and gas,” Salazar said. “Those 24 solar energy zones will receive an intense scrutiny under a fast track environmental analysis to determine whether those zones are the best sites for solar energy projects.”
Read more about Southern Nevada’s solar potential: http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2009/Jul-03-Fri-2009/news/29775038.html
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan announced an increase in the loan-to-value eligibility for homeowners who wish to participate in the Making Home Affordable refinance program. Donovan made the announcement following a tour with Reid and Rep. Dina Titus of a Las Vegas neighborhood affected by foreclosure. Under this program, Nevadans who owe up to 125 percent of the current value of their home now qualify for refinancing.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
“Without equity, most homeowners could not qualify for refinancing. Under the original refinancing option, only homeowners whose mortgage was no more than 105 percent of the home’s value could qualify, say $210,000 on a house now valued at $200,000.
“That option was of little help in Las Vegas, where housing values are half what they were in June 2006 and an estimated 67 percent of homeowners are underwater. Owners who want lower rates or out from an adjustable loan are stuck.
“The change announced this week tweaks that requirement. Now, homeowners who owe as much as 125 percent of a home’s value can qualify for refinancing of their government-backed Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. That means help for those who owe, say, $250,000 on a home now valued at $200,000.”
Read more about the program: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jul/06/renancing-change-offers-help-more-vegas-area/
Thursday, July 2, 2009 – In Las Vegas with Reid, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the expansion of the federally designated California High-Speed Rail corridor from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas. Investment in this high-speed rail line will create jobs for Nevadans in planning and construction as well as bring more tourism dollars to Las Vegas from California when the project is complete.
KLAS Channel 8 reported on the impact high speed rail will have.
“Senator Harry Reid says the congestion on I-15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas could be avoided.
“Take a drive. Go to Southern California. That will answer all the questions why we need high-speed rail,” said Senator Harry Reid, (D) Nevada. He, along with Secretary Ray LaHood, announced the new high-speed rail corridor between the areas. It opens the door for federal funding to help pay for it. In the stimulus plan, $8 billion was set aside for high-speed rail.
“What jump starts our opportunity in America is President Obama’s initiative that Congress passed to put $8 billion in the economic recovery,” said Secretary LaHood, D.O.T.”
Read more about Nevada’s plans for high speed rail: http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=10637860
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