Western Caucus Members Promote Drought Resilience & Energy Security in Arizona

Western Caucus Foundation Field Tour and Roundtable highlight AZ water infrastructure, domestic mineral development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Western Caucus Members traveled to Arizona for the Western Caucus Foundation’s Spring Field Tour and Roundtable, where they discussed how local communities are collaborating to combat historic drought conditions, as well as the importance of domestic mineral development.
“In Arizona, we worked to highlight two of the most significant issues facing the United States: historic drought and the need for updated water infrastructure throughout the West and the critical need for increased domestic development of minerals like copper – to both strengthen our national security and enhance local economies,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “It is an honor to work as Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus to bring these local issues to the national stage. We want to ensure the voices of people throughout the Phoenix metro area are heard in our nation’s capital.”
“As we found out during the pandemic, the United States has to be more self-sufficient on energy and critical minerals,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08).“That has come to the forefront, and people are starting to realize that. It frustrates me when the Biden Administration says we should buy in America or make in America. I agree, but why are we buying Russian oil? Why are we buying minerals from foreign countries? Why are they shutting down permits for mines? They say one thing, and then they do another.”
Chairman Newhouse, Rep. Lesko, and Vice Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) participated in a policy roundtable alongside Brenda Burman, former U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner and current Executive Strategy Advisor for the Central Arizona Project, and Lisa Atkins, Arizona Commissioner of Lands. The roundtable also featured two panels of experts who addressed the challenges facing Arizona’s communities.
The first panel on Water and Agriculture featured: 
  • Mr. Robert Cogan, Senior Manager for Federal Affairs, SRP
  • Ms. Stefanie Smallhouse, President of the Arizona Farm Bureau
  • Mr. Patrick Bray, Executive Vice President of the Arizona Farm and Ranch Group
  • Ms. Shelby Hagenauer, American Farm Bureau Federation 
The second panel, America’s Mineral Independence and Mining, featured: 
  • Mr. Steve Trussell, Executive Director of the Arizona Mining Association and the Arizona Rock Products Association
  • Mr. Paul Goranson, Chief Executive Officer and Director of EnCore Energy
  • Mr. Matt Ligouri, Public Affairs Manager for Southwest Gas
  • Mr. Andrew Lye, Project Director for Resolution Copper
Following the roundtable, Members, staff, and stakeholders joined a tour of the Central Arizona Project, which provides water for more than 80% of Arizona’s population, 11 Native American tribes, and 350,000 acres of irrigated agriculture.

They also toured the site of Resolution Copper, which has the potential to be one of the largest copper development projects in the world. The Resolution Copper project has the potential to create nearly 4,000 jobs and contribute over $60 billion in economic value for the state of Arizona, as well as provide a stable, domestic source of copper, which is used to manufacture medical equipment, clean energy technologies, and mobile devices.

Stay Connected

Use the following link to sign up for our newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.