Sinema Introduces Bill for Hoover Dam Upkeep

Sinema Introduces Bill for Hoover Dam Upkeep

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
|
March 28, 2024

Hoover Dam has served as a principal hydroelectrical plant for 8 million residents of Arizona, Nevada, and California for years. But as drought problems persist in the Southwest, its continued ability to supply power remains critical. To this end, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) has introduced legislation allocating unused Bureau of Reclamation funds toward the Dam's upkeep.

Simply named the "Help Hoover Dam Act," Sen. Sinema's bill authorizes the Bureau of Reclamation, the Federal agency charged with overseeing water distribution in the West, to reallocate "stranded funds" in the Colorado River Dam Fund toward the Hoover's continued operation, maintenance, and replacement work.

8 News Now noted that $45 million in the Colorado River Damn Fund has been rendered inaccessible due to red tape for years if not decades. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV), who introduced the House companion bill with Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV), said, "We can’t let government bureaucracy stop us from making necessary investments in the Hoover Dam — Nevadans depend on it for clean power, precious water resources, and countless recreational opportunities. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will help keep our energy prices from going up, protect our natural resources, and save taxpayers money."

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Similarly, Sen. Sinema added in her press release, "Our legislation supporting Hoover Dam’s maintenance and preservation projects strengthens Arizona’s electrical grid – providing Arizonans with affordable and reliable energy."

According to the Arizona Power Authority, Hoover Dam generates 4.5 billion kilowatt-hours of power annually, providing electrical power to nearly eight million residents across three states. However, recent droughts have raised concerns about the Dam's ability to generate hydroelectric power.

In a recent interview with Cactus Politics, Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake (R), who is running to replace Sinema against Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) spoke about the need to find additional sources of water, saying current attempts to preserve the Colorado River are "archaic and outrageous," since farmers are paid not to farm in the area.

"That is not a long-term strategy, and this is why we need to look at other resources for water. The West is growing, we cannot count on just the Colorado River much longer," Lake told Cactus Politics

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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