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Gov. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting changes to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) codes as part of any stimulus package. Such changes will allow special funding for electric power infrastructure in Nevada.

Plans call for the establishment of a nonprofit (501(c)3) corporation to market tax-exempt private activity bonds in order to finance the construction of power transmission lines in Nevada. Money to improve the state's power infrastructure would come from state's bonding capability, as well as public/private partnerships.

Private companies have already expressed interest in building transmission lines in Nevada or in partnering with the state to do so. No taxpayer funds would be involved. Certain IRS codes would need to be changed to permit the state to increase its bonding capacity without impacting other public projects.

"Nevada is profusely blessed with solar, wind and geothermal energy production potential," says Gibbons. "The time for talk passed long ago. I am taking this action now because we are prepared to move to the next level."

Gibbons pointed out that Nevada is already well positioned to harness renewable energy and deliver it throughout the area. Cost estimates for the power transmission infrastructure are approximately $3 billion.

In addition, Gibbons has created the Nevada Renewable Energy Transmission Access Advisory Committee, which has been working for more than 18 months to plan and identify transmission line routes and sites for renewable energy facilities.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Jim Gibbons



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