Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after her Western Jobs Tour, where she traveled across Northern and rural Nevada to highlight the jobs driving the local economy and her work to bring federal resources to the region. The tour focused on Nevada issues and priorities including clean energy jobs, mining, outdoor recreation, and wildfire preparation and response. Cortez Masto is leading legislation through her Innovation State Initiative to address each of these challenges in Nevada and to make critical investments that will bring jobs to the region.
“Nevada has a bright future, and I was thrilled to meet with so many Nevadans creating jobs and supporting their local communities on my Western Jobs Tour. The bipartisan infrastructure bill I helped pass is key to supporting sustainable, good-paying jobs for Nevadans across the state, from clean energy to outdoor recreation. I’ll keep working to secure additional investments that boost the Silver State’s small businesses and working families.”
In Reno, Cortez Masto toured the ALERTWildfire lab at the University of Nevada, Reno and discussed the ongoing challenges related to wildfire and the urgent need for additional resources and innovative solutions to prevent them. Cortez Masto has led efforts in the Senate to combat wildfires and just secured a major influx in federal funding to help prevent them in the bipartisan infrastructure package. She is also working to pass her ambitious Western Wildfire Support Act through the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).
While in Reno, she also met with local leaders to discuss how clean energy is growing the economy in Nevada and across the West. Last year, Cortez Masto secured major investments to boost the clean energy sector, including an extension of vital tax credits for the solar industry and its workers, and portions of her GEO Act to reduce barriers for geothermal development. She also helped secure $6 billion to implement a battery manufacturing and recycling grant program, as much as $5 billion for the expansion of electric vehicle buses, and $7.5 billion to construct electric vehicle charging stations in the bipartisan infrastructure package.
The tour included stops in rural Nevada. Cortez Masto toured Nevada Gold Mines and discussed her support for the mining industry, which provides over 37,000 Nevada jobs and serves as the economic engine for Elko and the entire region. Cortez Masto has led efforts to invest in our domestic mineral supply chain, so that minerals mined in Nevada can be processed and manufactured in the United States, creating good-paying American jobs.
The senator met with local sportsmen, tribal leaders, and stakeholders in the Ruby Mountains range to highlight one of the many beautiful landscapes in Nevada and how it helps fuel the state’s robust outdoor recreation economy, which brings in an estimated $5.5 billion annually to the state. Cortez Masto is leading the Ruby Mountains Protection Act to prohibit gas and oil development on these public lands.
In Wells, Cortez Masto met with the Wells Rural Electric Coop and the Nevada Rural Electric Association to talk about the importance of the bipartisan infrastructure package to the rural power grid. The senator helped secure provisions in the legislation that will provide $65 billion to upgrade power infrastructure and support grid reliability across the country, including over a $1 billion to improve rural grid resilience.
On the last day of her tour, she hosted an economic development roundtable with White Pine County leaders and business owners to discuss the urgent need to expand broadband in rural Nevada to help protect small businesses and create jobs. Cortez Masto has passed bipartisan legislation to ensure Nevadans have better access to federal broadband programs, through easier government access and expanded broadband eligibility for Nevada’s rural counties, and secured $3 billion in the American Rescue Plan to help strengthen economic development and infrastructure investments in rural communities, including through broadband and tourism promotion. The bipartisan infrastructure package will also invest $65 billion to address our nation’s digital divide. The Senator discussed ways her office can help rural communities access competitive grant funding for everything from broadband expansion to economic development projects that will create jobs in rural Nevada.
Cortez Masto concluded her tour with a visit to the former Caselton Mill mining site, which has been identified by The Nature Conservancy and the Lincoln County Power District No. 1 as a site with potential for redevelopment as a renewable energy project. The Senator secured “Mining the Sun” provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure package that would allow former hardrock mining sites to be utilized for renewable energy projects, creating green energy jobs in rural Nevada.