President names BuRec veteran to be commissioner

President Bush announced the nomination July 20 of Robert Johnson of Nevada to be commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior. The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Johnson currently serves as regional director of BuRec’s Lower Colorado Region, a job he has held since 1995.

Previously, Johnson served as deputy regional director. Earlier in his career, he received the President’s Meritorious Executive Award for superior accomplishment and management of federal programs. Johnson has worked for BuRec since 1975, when he joined the Mid-Pacific Region in Sacramento, Calif.

If confirmed, Johnson would replace former Commissioner John Keys III, who retired earlier this year. Deputy Commissioner Bill Rinne has served as acting commissioner, and will continue to do so until the confirmation process is complete.

BuRec is the second largest producer of hydropower in the United States and the largest wholesale water supplier. Its facilities in 17 West-ern states include 58 hydro plants totaling 14,758 MW that annually generate 39,776 giga-watt-hours. The facili-ties also pro-vide flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.

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