Harry Reid Vows to Save Vegas HSR
Back in July it emerged that XpressWest’s federal loan application was being put on hold owing largely to concerns that the project would not meet federal Buy America rules. Nevada Senator Harry Reid vowed to work to save the project, and according to a radio interview he gave in Nevada last week, he is still working at it:
In an interview last week on “Nevada Newsmakers,” a political television program produced in Reno, Reid said he has spoken recently with White House officials about getting the project back on track.
“I’ve had conversations within the last week with the White House and with (XpressWest Chairman) Tony Marnell, who is the person who is putting up all the money on that,” Reid said. “(California Gov.) Jerry Brown loves it. I like it. It’s a pretty good start.”
Senator Reid has not yet revealed any news regarding the loan application, and it’s clear that the Buy America provision will have to be addressed for the loan to go forward.
The simplest method here would be for the federal government to fund the project, along with other HSR routes across the country. But as long as the Tea Party is in control of the House they won’t allow that to happen, so XpressWest has to jump through hoops like the federal loan application.
As someone who believes we need a national high speed rail network in order to address climate change and energy independence, I’m all for Senator Reid’s efforts to keep XpressWest and its loan application alive. Eventually this austerity madness will end, and keeping important projects alive during this crazy time is essential to this country’s future.