News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after a new report found that costs from hurricane damages in the United States are expected to increase 39 percent in the coming decades because of the effects of climate change and coastal development. The report was prepared by the Congressional Budget Office at the request of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray. The 2016 hurricane season began Wednesday.

“This report echoes what we heard in the 2014 Budget Committee hearing on climate change: if we want to be responsible about tackling our long-term fiscal challenges – we need to take the impacts of climate change seriously,” Murray said. “For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we need to act now to avoid lasting, irreversible damage to our economy, our environment, and our country’s future.”

By 2075, annual expected hurricane damages, as well as federal spending for relief and recovery, will likely increase by a third and could be nearly double what we spend today relative to the size of the economy. Annual expected hurricane damages are currently $28 billion, of which roughly $18 billion is covered by the federal government, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Roughly 45 percent of the increase is attributable to climate change and 55 percent to coastal development. Additionally, 10 million Americans will live in areas at risk for significant loss from hurricanes, more than five times the share of Americans who are at risk today.

To read the CBO report, click here.