National Hydropower Association Honors Congressional Water Power Champions at Waterpower Week

Washington, DC – Three members of the U.S. House of Representatives were honored by the National Hydropower Association for their longtime and ongoing contributions to the water power industry. 

 Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) received the “Hydropower Legacy Award” in recognition of her two decades of advocacy for the industry while serving in Congress, and Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA) and Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) both won the “Legislator of the Year Award.” Reps. McMorris Rodgers and Schrier accepted their awards at NHA’s Waterpower Week, an annual gathering of the water power industry in the Nation’s Capital. 

“NHA is extremely pleased to honor these three lawmakers who have been stalwart champions for our industry,” said NHA President and CEO, Malcolm Woolf. “I’m particularly grateful to the amazing advocacy of Chair McMorris Rodgers, whose exemplary career in Congress is coming to an end. 

“While we’re sad to see her leave Congress, we congratulate her on her years of hard work on behalf of our industry and wish her all the best in her next endeavor,” added Woolf. “Thankfully, the progress she’s made has built a stronger foundation for our industry in Washington, DC that champions like Reps. Schrier and Smith can build upon. NHA is grateful to these three lawmakers who represent both the bipartisan appeal of hydro and the power of what is possible when both parties come together to advance a clean energy future for all Americans.” 

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers will retire from the House of Representatives this year after serving her Eastern Washington-based congressional district for 20 years. As Chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, she has made supporting and highlighting water power a major priority, holding a recent hearing on the importance of the Lower Snake River Dams amid an ongoing effort by the Biden Administration that could pave the way for the removal of these important energy sources. She has also sponsored key pieces of legislation for hydro, including the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act (H.R. 4045), a critical bill endorsed by NHA that protects the existing fleet, encourages the development of smaller projects, and streamlines the FERC licensing process.  

NHA President and CEO, Malcolm Woolf, presents the Hydropower Legacy Award to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D, has represented Washington’s 8th Congressional District since 2019. In just five years, she has already proven herself to be a staunch champion of water power while sitting on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy, Climate and Grid Security subcommittee. She is also a lead sponsor of the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity and River Restoration Act of 2023 (H.R. 6653), which aims to establish a tax credit that supports key environmental improvements around fish passage, habitat maintenance, access to public waterways, and more.  

Kirk Hudson, General Manager of Chelan County Public Utility District, presents the Legislator of the Year Award to Congresswoman Kim Schrier.

Congressman Adrian Smith, the representative of Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District since 2007, is the Dean of the Nebraska Delegation. He sits on the influential House Ways and Means Committee and is the lead sponsor of the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity and River Restoration Act of 2023. Smith is an original co-chair of the House Hydropower Caucus, and as a representative of a heavily agricultural state, understands how important hydropower is to ensure efficient irrigation