News Releases

Senator Murray: “We’re seeing more and more once-in-a-generation extreme weather events — severe droughts, raging wildfires and dangerous temperatures — all of which seem to be hitting our state more than once in a generation.”

Senator Murray: “Whether through the reconciliation process, a bipartisan infrastructure package, or both, we need to meet this moment with the urgency it demands.”

Senator Murray: “Congress must send President Biden a landmark investment in climate action that will protect our planet for current and future generations — nothing less will cut it.”

Read Senator Murray’s Op-Ed HERE 

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, this week penned an op-ed in the Seattle Times on the urgent need for Congress to make a landmark investment in climate action as negotiations are underway for a bipartisan infrastructure framework and budget reconciliation package.  

In the op-ed, Senator Murray pointed to the recent heatwave in the Pacific Northwest as the most recent evidence of the fact that the climate crisis is already here and requires immediate nationwide, federal action to mitigate it’s effects.

“After a dayslong, unprecedented, record-setting heat wave that cost at least 78 lives in our state, fried streetcar cables in Portland and buckled the pavement on Interstate 5, it’s clearer than ever: Climate change isn’t some pending existential threat. It’s a crisis, and it’s here,” Senator Murray wrote.

“The forthcoming infrastructure proposals currently being negotiated in Congress are our best chance in decades at tackling the climate crisis in a meaningful, systemic way. We need to make a major investment in climate action and, specifically, we need to focus on reducing carbon emissions now — before last month’s heat wave becomes a typical Seattle summer.”

Senator Murray also outlined some of the major climate proposals she is supporting, and the overwhelming support they have from the American people.

“We can achieve a 100% carbon-free U.S. power sector by 2035 by setting a national Clean Energy Standard that would make power plants move toward zero emissions — Washington state is already on track to be carbon-neutral by 2030. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support government action to ensure we reach that goal, according to a survey by Data for Progress, a progressive think tank,” Senator Murray wrote.

Senator Murray emphasized that for any climate action to be successful, it must utilize the strength of the federal government to enact systemic change, center communities that currently bear the brunt of the climate crisis, and create good paying, union jobs.

“Central to all of these efforts must be a commitment to a whole-of-government approach to develop programs and policies that address the disproportionate health, environmental, economic and climate impacts on communities that have too often been left behind — like Washington state’s tribes and communities of color. That also means making sure that our clean-energy investments create good jobs, with the chance to join a union and collectively bargain, strong labor and safety standards, and include investments in workforce training programs.”

Finally, Senator Murray made clear that inaction is not an option when it comes to climate, and reiterated her determination to secure major provisions to address the climate crisis in upcoming infrastructure legislation.

“I also want to be very clear: Whether through the reconciliation process, a bipartisan infrastructure package, or both, we need to meet this moment with the urgency it demands. We have to make investments and enact policies that help us ‘electrify everything’ as quickly as possible, prioritize communities that are most impacted and cut our carbon emissions,” Senator Murray wrote.

“Congress must send President Biden a landmark investment in climate action that will protect our planet for current and future generations — nothing less will cut it.”

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