Skip to main content

Congressman Bentz Named Top Republican on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife

February 17, 2021

ONTARIO, Ore. – Today, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) was named the Ranking Member on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. This places Oregon’s freshman Republican congressman front and center on matters concerning America’s water resources, federal irrigation projects, hydroelectric power, interstate water issues, and fisheries management. 

“I am honored to serve as the leading Republican voice on the House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, and I thank the Committee’s Ranking Member, Bruce Westerman, for this opportunity,” said Congressman Bentz. “For more than half of my professional and political career, I have stood up and fought for agriculture and communities that rely on our water resources and are feeling the effects of a real and regulatory drought. I will take an active role in the consideration of all water issues coming before the panel. Whether it is dealing with regulations under the Clean Water Act; advocating against dam removal and addressing fish passage; encouraging responsible water storage policies; promoting low-cost, renewable electric power from federal water projects; or providing a thoughtful check and balance to the Biden Administration and the Democrat majority in Congress – I will work to ensure our water resources are managed wisely and to the benefit of communities across our nation.”

Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member

“I’m so pleased to welcome Congressman Bentz as the Ranking Member for the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee. While he is new to Congress, Congressman Bentz is not new to this subject matter. He brings a wide array of personal experiences and expertise as a water rights attorney to the table, and I know this will equip him to be a strong and thoughtful voice on water-related issues. As we begin this new Congress, I believe we have the best possible team ready to take on any challenge and show Americans that conservation is inherently conservative.”

J.R. Cook, Director, Northeast Oregon Water Association

“The Northeast Oregon Water Association looks forward to continuing our outcome based working relationship with Congressman Bentz on regional water needs.  Congressman Bentz’s legal understanding of water law and common-sense approach to water needs will be a major asset to our region, the Columbia River system and western United States.”

April Snell, Executive Director, Oregon Water Resources Congress

“The Oregon Water Resources Congress (OWRC) is excited to learn Congressman Bentz has been appointed as ranking member on the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. This subcommittee has oversight over issues of critical importance to irrigation districts and other OWRC members, including water resources, federal projects, hydropower, and fisheries management policy.  While it is extraordinary for a freshman to receive a leadership position, it is not surprising given the Congressman’s vast experience with natural resources, particularly western water law.  Through his many years in the Oregon Legislature, Congressman Bentz knows first-hand the importance of bridging the urban-rural divide and supporting common-sense solutions regardless of party. His thoughtful and deliberative approach to complex policy is needed now more than ever and we are grateful to have him in Congress working on Oregon’s behalf.  We congratulate Congressman Bentz on his appointment and look forward to his new leadership role on water and other important natural resources issues.”

Craig Horrell, President, Deschutes Basin Board of Control

"We are proud to have Congressman Bentz in Washington D.C., representing our eight irrigation districts in rural Central Oregon that convey water to over 7,600 farm and ranch families, schools, and parks. At a time when water resources are stretched further and further, we welcome Congressman Bentz's vast knowledge and commitment to addressing water issues."

Barb Iverson, President, Oregon Farm Bureau

“Oregon Farm Bureau congratulates Congressman Bentz on being named the ranking member on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. He has long been a champion for Oregon’s farmers and ranchers in the State Legislature, and he will bring his extensive expertise on water issues to the national level. We look forward to working with Congressman Bentz on federal policy work because we know he will never forget the interests of Oregon’s agriculture community in discussions and decisions around water needs, uses, and conservation.”