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Oversight Hearing on "Examining the Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Spending, Priorities and the Missions of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Resources program and the Four Power Marketing Administrations"
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 2:00 PM
Subcommittee on Water and Power
1334 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON WATER AND POWER
1334 Longworth House Office Building
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
2:00 p.m.

  • Watch the Archived Hearing Webcast
  • Press Release - Subcommittee Questions Obama Admin’s BOR and PMA Budgets that Could Increase Electricity Rates and Decrease Water Deliveries (3/20/2012)
  • Press Release - Chairman Hastings: Dept. of Energy Directive to BPA and other PMAs Could Increase Energy Rates for Millions of American Families (3/16/2012)

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "Examining the Proposed Fiscal Year 2013 Spending, Priorities and the Missions of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Resources program and the Four Power Marketing Administrations"

OPENING STATEMENTS:

The Honorable Tom McClintock
Chairman

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Full Committee Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

The Honorable Michael L. Connor
Commissioner
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Washington, DC

Stephen Wright
Administrator
Bonneville Power Administration
Portland, Oregon

Timothy Meeks
Administrator
Western Area Power Administration
Lakewood, Colorado

James McDonald
Acting Administrator
Southwestern Power Administration
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kenneth Legg
Administrator
Southeastern Power Administration
Elberton, Georgia

Bill Werkheiser
Associate Director for Water
U.S. Geological Survey
Reston, Virginia

BACKGROUND:

The Bureau of Reclamation is the nation’s largest domestic wholesale water supplier, managing a vast network of dams and canals throughout seventeen western states. It is also the second largest hydropower producer in the country. The Bonneville Power Administration, the Western Area Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration and the Southeastern Power Administration (collectively known as the PMAs) market and deliver federal hydropower through federal and non-federal electricity transmission lines. These federal water and power supply projects continue to be vital components of our nation’s infrastructure. Some are concerned that the agencies managing them are losing their traditional focus due to environmental litigation and expensive policies aimed more at conserving shortages and replacing low-cost hydropower with more expensive and intermittent wind and solar power. The Bureau's proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget of $1 billion represents a $42 million decrease from the enacted Fiscal Year 2012 level. Some traditional programs are decreased while others, such as the Administration’s WaterSMART program, are increased within the request. This hearing will highlight the past and future missions of these agencies as well as the controversies surrounding specific issues.

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