Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, announced Senator Brian Schatz as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Water and Power. Schatz will serve on additional Subcommittees within Energy and Natural Resources, including the Subcommittee on National Parks and the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining.
In addition to Schatz's Subcommittee assignments on Energy and Natural Resources, the Senator has been assigned to the following Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittees: Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security; Communications, Technology, and the Internet; Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance; Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard; and Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.
Chairman Wyden said Schatz's work on renewable energy during his time as Lieutenant Governor in Hawaii puts him in a good position to lead the Water and Power subcommittee. "Hawaii has made great strides on renewable energy in recent years, and Senator Schatz deserves credit for that. As the committee crafts policies to move the U.S. toward a low-carbon economy, I'll certainly seek Brian's counsel."
Wyden said Schatz will be a welcome addition to Energy and Natural Resources.
"Brian will be a real asset to our committee, and a great partner for clean energy in Hawaii and the rest of the country. While it is uncommon for a freshman member to gain a Chairmanship, he has demonstrated the drive and ability to take up that responsibility, despite having just a few weeks of tenure in the Senate."
"As Chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee, and in my role on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue working to establish a thriving clean energy economy in Hawaii," said Senator Brian Schatz. "Hawaii has established itself as a national leader in clean energy, and these committee assignments will provide a platform to demonstrate Hawaii's leadership in this innovative field. I thank Senator Wyden and Senate leadership for giving me the opportunity to better serve the people of Hawaii in my new role as Chairman."
Jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Water and Power includes oversight and legislative responsibilities for:
Department of Hawaiian Homelands;
reclamation projects, including related flood control purposes;
power marketing administrations;
energy development impacts on water resources;
groundwater resources and management;
low head hydro; and
energy related aspects of deepwater ports.
Previous Senators who have Chaired the Subcommittee on Water and Power include: Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).
Senator Schatz, who was appointed on December 26, 2012, is now ranked 86th in overall seniority, and 45 out of 54 among fellow Democrats.