Maui News

Schatz Named Chair for Subcommittee on Water and Power

February 14, 2013, 9:07 AM HST
* Updated February 14, 10:05 AM
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US Sen. Schatz of Hawaii participating in a meeting of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.  Courtesy photo, Office of US Sen. Brian Schatz.

US Sen. Schatz of Hawaii (pictured second from right) participating in a meeting of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. Courtesy photo, Office of US Sen. Brian Schatz.

By Wendy Osher

US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii was named as the chair of the Subcommittee on Water and Power.

Senator Schatz, who was appointed on Dec. 26, 2012, is now ranked 86th in overall seniority, and 45 out of 54 among fellow Democrats.

The announcement was made by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Ron Wyden today.

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. In making the announcement he said, “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 US toward a low-carbon economy, I’ll certainly seek Brian’s counsel.”

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Schatz will also serve on additional subcommittees within Energy and Natural Resources, including the Subcommittee on National Parks, and the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.

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Wyden called Schatz a welcome addition saying, “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, Sen. Schatz said he will continue working to establish a thriving clean energy economy in Hawaii. “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; irrigation; reclamation projects, including related flood control purposes; power marketing administrations; energy development impacts on water resources; groundwater resources and management; hydroelectric power; low head hydro; and energy related aspects of deepwater ports.

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Sen. Schatz was also 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.

 

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