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Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the chairman and the ranking member here for their consideration. This is a good, commonsense bill. It passed out of the Congress last time, and I appreciate the bipartisan nature, particularly the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Grijalva), for his positive words in the passage of this piece of legislation.
H.R. 251, the South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act, transfers title on certain portions of the electric distribution system operated by the South Utah Valley Electric Service District, SESD, from the Bureau of Reclamation to SESD. Local users repaid all applicable construction costs to the Federal Government decades ago.
This bill, H.R. 251, is needed because in order to become more efficient and more effective, ownership needs to be transferred. The system is part of the larger Strawberry Valley Project, which began in 1906.
This title transfer benefits the Federal taxpayers and the local communities that use the system. The transfer of title will divest the Bureau of Reclamation of Federal liability while providing SESD greater autonomy and flexibility to manage facilities in a manner that best meets its needs.
H.R. 251 is consistent with existing Federal policy, and since 1996, as the chairman mentioned, there have been roughly 27 Bureau of Reclamation projects to local entities that have gone through this transfer type of process. An identical bill, H.R. 461, passed in the House in the 112th Congress by voice vote, passed this September 23 of 2011.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.'' I appreciate, again, the good work on both sides of the aisle to help pass this, and I urge a ``yes'' vote.
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