Any effort to roll back progress at the Hanford nuclear reservation or to shortchange Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under the administration of President-elect Donald Trump will be met with swift opposition, said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
She made the comment after Trump picked former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.
She will oppose any move that destabilizes the Bonneville Power Administration or privatizes portions of DOE, she said.
“Washington state is home to one of the largest nuclear cleanup efforts in the world, so I cannot stress enough how critical it is to have strong, able leadership at the U.S. Department of Energy to guide the cleanup at Hanford,” she said.
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The energy secretary must be committed to the nation’s legal and moral obligation to clean up contamination and waste left from World War II and Cold War nuclear defense programs, she said. More importantly, the energy secretary must be committed to the safety of its workers.
“I am also deeply troubled by Gov. Perry’s past statements regarding climate change and his obvious ties to ‘big oil’,” Murray said.
She has supported renewable energy research and development to address climate change and to create a national energy policy “suited for the economy of the next century, not one that is merely beholden to billionaires and big corporations,” she said.
The energy secretary appointment requires confirmation by the Senate.