Patty in the News

Angry over opposition to the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act, a bill that would demand increased financial responsibility from oil companies in cases like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Senator Patty Murray says passing the measure is simple justice. "If an oil company causes a spill, they should be the one to pay to clean it up. Not the taxpayers." The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Murray, would raise a company's liability cap for offshore oil well spills from $75 million to $10 billion, which Murray sees as common sense.

KIRO Radio
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she has only just begun to fight for federal money to repair the Howard Hanson Dam and protect the Green River Valley from flooding. Murray and a parade of politicians held a media conference Friday along the shores of the Green River near Russell Road Park in Kent to discuss the $44 million the U.S. senator has helped secure for emergency funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to repair the Howard Hanson Dam. "We were successful," Murray said of the efforts by herself as well as state, King County and local leaders. "The $44 million we worked to secure in the emergency spending bill will give the Army Corps the resources they need to keep the Green River Valley safe.

Kent Reporter
Several West Coast senators, including Washington Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, introduced legislation Thursday to permanently ban offshore drilling in all federal waters off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington….“I’ve always opposed drilling off the coast of Washington,” Murray said in a prepared statement. “The current tragedy in the Gulf Coast is a painful reminder that we can’t allow drilling anywhere on the West Coast.”

The News Tribune
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appears likely to receive $44 million for more repairs to the Howard Hanson Dam, which officials hope will prevent major flooding in the Green River Valley at least for a few years. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray persuaded her colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday to put the money into a supplemental spending bill the Senate is expected to vote on this month. That money would be used to deepen and more than double the length of an underground curtain of grout designed to temporarily prevent water from seeping through an abutment and weakening the earthen dam.

Seattle Times
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday he has named two high-level officials to oversee a restructuring of an agency that oversees offshore drilling…Also Thursday, all six West Coast senators proposed a permanent ban on drilling off the Pacific coast….Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she was disappointed that Senate Republicans "once again put Big Oil profits" over taxpayer interests. "This is a simple issue of fairness: If an oil company causes a spill, they should have to pay to clean it up," Murray said.

Seattle Times
A key Senate committee has approved $44 million to repair a badly weakened reservoir wall at Howard Hanson Dam to lessen the flood danger to homes and businesses - including Boeing, Starbucks and REI - in the heavily developed Green River Valley south of Seattle. Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray announced Thursday she had included money for the repairs in a supplemental appropriations bill….Murray said the economic effects of a flood in the valley would be devastating - officials have estimated that property damage alone from a severe flood could total $3.7 billion. Gov. Chris Gregoire and other Washington business and political leaders went to Washington, D.C., last week to push for the money. "People's homes, jobs, and livelihoods are at stake," Murray said in a written statement. "Waiting for funding continues to put the region at risk. I have made absolutely clear to my colleagues that this is a serious concern and I'm very proud to have secured this funding."

SeattlePI.com
Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray said Monday an estimated 11,000 jobs in Washington are at stake as Boeing vies for the Air Force contract to build the next generation of refueling tankers…. Murray said the jobs are a reminder of what's at stake for the state."A robust aerospace industry in Washington state affects our businesses, schools, communities and families," she said.

Seattle Times
While so much attention these days is on Mexicans crossing the border coming north, Washington farmers are pretty upset about what's not crossing the border going south….Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., questioned Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Thursday about when a resolution will be found to the potato crisis, which is costing Washington growers tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs….."The tariffs undermine our farmers' competitiveness -- and they are killing jobs and devastating communities," Murray told the secretary….It may be an international issue, but it comes home to us right here in Benton and Franklin counties. The only thing to do is sort it out and fix it. Murray is leading that effort.

Tri-City Herald
At a hearing of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee on May 6, Washington state Sen. Patty Murray urged Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to resolve a year-old trade dispute with Mexico when the United States and Mexico meet for an official state visit later this month. In March of 2009, Mexico instituted increased import taxes on an estimated $2.4 billion worth of domestic goods in response to a cross-border trucking dispute with the United States. The tariffs were a retaliatory measure after the U.S. Congress – pressured by interests from the Teamsters Union – failed to meet U.S. obligations to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Wenatchee Business Journal
The Obama administration is "very close" to unveiling a plan that could help end a year-old tariff by Mexico on Washington frozen potatoes and other agricultural products, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., questioned LaHood about the status of administration efforts to resolve a trade dispute that contributed to a $19.7 million decline in the value of exported Washington agricultural products to Mexico in 2009 compared with 2008.

Tri-City Herald