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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a Senate resolution recognizing the one-year anniversary on April 2, 2011 of the tragic explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington that claimed the lives of seven workers. The resolution expresses the Senate’s condolences to the family, loved ones, co-workers, and the Anacortes community, and it honors those who lost their lives. The resolution is expected to pass the Senate by unanimous consent.

“I am proud to introduce a Senate resolution with my colleague Senator Cantwell to recognize the anniversary of this tragedy on April 2, 2011.  And I urge my colleagues to join me in remembering those workers in Anacortes who were taken from us far too soon,” said Senator Murray on the Senate floor today. “Even now, one year later, there is nothing we can say to make the pain go away for the mothers and fathers, son and daughters, co-workers and family members who still bear those deep scars of loss. But the Anacortes community is strong. And while they have endured more than their fair share of pain over the years, their resiliency and compassion have carried them forward.”

“I join my colleague, Senator Murray, in honoring the seven refinery workers who lost their lives at this tragic event one year ago, and in expressing sincere condolences to their families, loved ones, friends, and the entire Anacortes community,” said Senator Cantwell.  “This horrific, preventable accident resulted in a much-needed review of workplace safety. We will continue working to ensure the toughest procedures are in place to prevent future tragedies from happening.”

Senator Murray spoke on the Senate floor earlier today to mark the anniversary.  - Watch Video

The full text of her speech follows.

“Mr. President, I come to the floor today to mark the one year anniversary of a terrible tragedy in my home state of Washington—and to once again honor the memories of those who were killed.

“On April 2nd, 2010, a fire broke out at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington—and claimed the lives of 7 workers: Daniel J. Aldridge, Matthew C. Bowen, Donna Van Dreumel, Matt Gumbel, Darrin J. Hoines, Lew Janz, and Kathryn Powell.

“These were men and women who were taken too young—with so much life to live, and with so many people to live it with.

“Workers who took on tough jobs, worked long hours, during difficult economic times— to provide for their families.

“They were people who made tremendous sacrifices and who embodied so much of what is good about the community they lived in. And Mr. President—they have been dearly missed.

“Even now, one year later, there is nothing we can say to make the pain go away for the mothers and fathers, son and daughters, co-workers and family members—who still bear those deep scars of loss.

“But Mr. President, the Anacortes community is strong. And while they have endured more than their fair share of pain over the years—their resiliency and compassion have carried them forward.

“Over the past year we have seen homes, hearts, and pocketbooks open to the families who have lost so much.

“Because this community understands the pain of a loss like this can’t be overcome or forgotten. And they know these families should never have to bear that pain alone.

“So Mr. President, we owe it to the Anacortes community to honor those they have lost.And we owe it to them to do everything we can to make sure tragedies like this don’t happen again.

“State investigators have determined that this tragedy could have been—and should have been— prevented. The problems that led to what happened were known beforehand—and they should have been fixed. And that is just heartbreaking.

“Every worker—in every industry—deserves to be confident that while they are working hard and doing their jobs, their employers are doing everything they can to protect them.

“So I am going to keep working to make sure the oil and gas industry improves their safety practices.

“Because we owe that to our workers, to their families, and to communities like Anacortes all across the country.

“Mr. President—one year after this tragedy—my thoughts, prayers, and condolences remain with the families who have endured so much pain.  And my profound thanks goes out to the Anacortes community that has been with those families every step of the way.

“So I am proud to introduce a Senate resolution with my colleague Senator Cantwell to recognize the anniversary of this tragedy on April 2, 2011.  And I urge my colleagues to join me in remembering those workers in Anacortes who were taken from us far too soon.

“Thank you—I yield the floor.”