McMorris Named Lead Republican on Water and Power Subcommittee

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris was named ranking member of the Water and Power Subcommittee today by Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Don Young (R-AK). As the lead Republican on this Subcommittee, McMorris will work to expand and protect the water and power infrastructure that is crucial to the Pacific Northwest.

“This subcommittee has jurisdiction over several issues that directly impact Eastern Washington and our economy,” said McMorris. “Whether it is agriculture, manufacturing, technology, domestic or municipality needs, we have multiple demands for limited water and renewable energy resources. As the lead Republican, I will work to ensure balanced use of our Snake and Columbia River systems, safeguard our water rights, explore water storage options, protect our dams, ensure the use of hydropower to provide low-cost renewable energy, seek options for the Odessa Aquifer, and maintain reliable and affordable transmission systems for our region. I look forward to working with the Chair of the Subcommittee and hope that we will be able to find common ground in order to meet our water and power supply needs.”

“During her first term, Representative McMorris proactively worked on behalf of Northwest electricity ratepayers and demonstrated proven leadership on vital water and energy issues,” said Congressman Don Young. “As ranking member of the Subcommittee, I am confident that McMorris will lend a strong voice to the debate and protect our much-needed water and power infrastructure.”

McMorris was selected by Congressman Young as ranking member because of the Subcommittee’s relevance to Eastern Washington, her demonstrated interest and knowledge of the subject matter, and her leadership on the Resources Committee and in the House of Representatives. She previously served as Vice-Chair of this Subcommittee in the last Congress.

During the 110th Congress, the Subcommittee will focus on a number of issues including:


  • Providing low-cost energy through hydropower generated at federal dams and reservoirs
  • The use of surface and groundwater storage to help meet population growth and ease the impacts of droughts and environmental mandates
  • Responsible development of electricity rights-of-way to bring the western grid into the 21st century
  • The impact of the Endangered Species Act on western water and power supply
  • Expanding the role of non-traditional water supply projects, such as water recycling
  • Protecting critical federal water and power infrastructure from post 9/11 terrorist attacks

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