News Releases

Murray Hails Nomination of Chu to Lead America's Energy Future, Discusses Responsibility to Cleanup Past Energy Projects

Dec 15 2008

Murray will meet with Dr. Chu to discuss the importance of Hanford cleanup efforts

(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after President-elect Obama announced Dr. Steven Chu as his nominee to be the next Secretary of Energy.

“Meeting the energy challenges we face as a state and nation will be central to our economic recovery, our national security and our responsibility to leaving a better world for our children.  From climate change, to Hanford cleanup, to creating a green jobs economy, we have enormously important choices to make in the years ahead. And like no time before, those energy choices will impact the lives of everyday American families.

“President-elect Obama has repeatedly shown his commitment to a bold and innovative energy policy that moves our economy forward while protecting our environment.  And today he has chosen an Energy Secretary nominee with the experience and know-how to help get that difficult job done.

“In Washington state, we are eagerly moving toward the energy solutions of tomorrow. That’s because we have already laid the groundwork for a thriving green economy in our state. Our utilities are investing in renewable resources like wind and solar to meet a citizen-approved renewable portfolio standard.   And our state is tackling the issue of climate change head on, through the Governor Gregoire’s comprehensive program to reduce emissions and create green jobs.  In the coming months, I will be working to ensure that federal investments in creating green jobs are made in our state.

“But as we look forward, it’s also important to remember our responsibility to the energy projects of the past. That means ensuring that those who sacrificed in our last great energy boom – during the Cold War – are guaranteed the protections they deserve. That’s why one of my top energy priorities will be working with Dr. Chu to ensure that he understands the legal and moral obligation we have to cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

“In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with Dr. Chu to discuss the importance of a robust national budget for Environmental Management that will keep Hanford cleanup on track. I will also ensure that he knows the importance of coming together with the state to resolve differences over the Tri-Party Agreement so that we meet important cleanup deadlines.

“I’m also particularly pleased that Dr. Chu will bring an appreciation of the role of our National Laboratory system to the Department of Energy, having served as Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This will be helpful in continuing to ensure that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has the resources needed to provide high tech jobs in our state and to continue developing pioneering security solutions for our country.”