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Feds suspend $5.5B loan application for XpressWest

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Updated: 7/12/2013 6:37 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – The XpressWest project that would have created a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., is in limbo after the loan process was suspended.

According to a blog on the Heritage Foundation website, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said they received information from the Department of Transportation that the agency sent a letter notifying XpressWest that it is indefinitely suspending consideration of XpressWest’s $5.5 billion loan application.

Catherine Levy, the director of public affairs for XpressWest, provided this statement: “While the loan process for XpressWest has been suspended, it is our understanding the project is still being reviewed. We believe high-speed rail in the western United States is both feasible and desired. We await further information and direction from the Administration.

“We at XpressWest have always known that a project of this magnitude would undergo painstaking and diligent review.”

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a supporter of the project, released a statement this afternoon: "I believe high-speed rail is an important aspect of Nevada and the country's future. In Las Vegas, I-15 to and from California is absolutely clogged, and we must do everything we can to make it easy and safe for travelers to visit Las Vegas. But it's also vital we do this right.

"The Administration has not permanently foreclosed the possibility of such an investment, and I remain committed to working with them and with Tony Marnell and XpressWest to secure this vital investment for Nevada."

Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was a heavy supporter of the project, and it continued to get verbal support from the Department of Transportation until the last year or so, when things became quiet.
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