Newhouse Leads Western Caucus Energy Field Tour in Central Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) led Members of the Congressional Western Caucus on an energy field tour through Central Washington, hosted by the Western Caucus Foundation. Vice Chair Bruce Westerman (AR-04) and Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Cliff Bentz (OR-02), and Matt Rosendale (MT-AL) joined to learn about the region’s all-of-the-above energy portfolio and see the benefits of the Columbia and Snake River dam system firsthand.
 
“Central Washington embraces an all-of-the-above energy portfolio in a way that should be an example for the nation,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Clean, renewable, and baseload energy resources like nuclear energy and our powerful hydroelectric dams produce reliable, affordable power – not just for our state but for the entire Pacific Northwest. As we continue to diversify and strengthen our nation’s energy portfolio, I look forward to continuing to share our story. I am so proud to bring my colleagues to my home district, particularly to highlight the important role Central Washington’s communities play in America’s energy security and independence.”
 
“Chairman Newhouse graciously hosted myself and other members of the Western Caucus this week in his home state, and our tour of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, as well as the Ice Harbor Dam, showcased how hydropower must be part of our all-of-the-above energy approach,” said Vice Chair Westerman. “As President Biden’s energy crisis worsens, it’s imperative we continue innovating and investing in clean, safe, and efficient energy to keep prices down for Americans and to protect our national security. I thank Chairman Newhouse for facilitating this field tour, and look forward to continuing the energy conversation.” 
 
“Being able to see the Ice Harbor Dam and touring the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory highlights the importance and benefits of an all of the above energy approach,” said Rep. Miller-Meeks. “As Americans are facing record high prices at the gas pump, we need to work to secure our energy independence. This means seriously investing in domestic energy production, including biofuels, hydropower, wind, solar, oil, and nuclear power. I appreciate Chairman Newhouse for hosting us in his district to help us learn more about the wide range of energy options right here in the United States.”
 
“In my district and throughout the Pacific Northwest, hydropower plays a critical role in ensuring we have a reliable and resilient energy grid,” said Rep. Bentz. “I am grateful to Representative Newhouse and the Western Caucus for giving us the opportunity to see the Columbia and Snake River dams firsthand and hear about the immense benefits these dams provide for our region. As we work to strengthen American energy security in Congress, we must continue to promote baseload power, and field tours like this help us take that message back to our nation’s capital.”
 
“I am grateful to Representative Newhouse and the Western Caucus Foundation for inviting us on an energy tour in Washington,” said Rep. Rosendale. “Domestic energy production is critical to our national security, and Washington serves as an example of a common sense ‘all the above’ energy strategy, providing the northwestern United States with the proper energy resources it needs to flourish. I will continue to work with Representative Newhouse and my Western Caucus colleagues to promote U.S. energy production and fight to ensure that radical environmentalists do not cripple our energy production capabilities.”

The lawmakers, congressional staff, and national stakeholders participated in a tour of the Ice Harbor Dam and Lock, where they met with local agriculture, irrigation, transportation, and energy leaders to learn about hydropower generation, as well as the impacts and advantages of the Columbia and Snake River dam system. U.S. Army Corps experts led the tour of the dam where they shared their comprehensive work to improve efficient power generation and salmon recovery.
 
Members also participated in an energy policy roundtable at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which featured panels on grid stability and resilience and the future of nuclear energy technologies. Dr. Steve Ashby, Director of PNNL, Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and Bob Shuetz, CEO of Energy Northwest, also delivered keynote remarks to the group about Central Washington’s leadership in energy advancement.
 
Lastly, the group met with Presidents of the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California State Farm Bureaus, as well as local producers and agriculture advocates to discuss the challenges and priorities of western agriculture. They also toured the Washington State University Wine Science Center, one of the nation’s leading viticulture and enology hubs.

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