“Inaction in the face of climate change could cost our state and country billions of dollars. Today, Senator Murray is holding a U.S. Senate Budget Committee hearing on the costs of climate inaction, which will examine how inaction will create both an untenable environmental challenge for future generations and enormous economic and fiscal challenges for our nation. Also today, the White House Council of Economic Advisors released a report that shows that delaying action on climate change will dramatically increase the costs of action, as well as the costs of climate impacts. For instance, the report finds that delaying action to reduce carbon pollution will increase climate mitigation costs by about 40 percent. This report emphasizes the need for elected leaders to take action now.
“We’re already seeing the impacts and bearing the costs of climate change in our state. I’ve met with shellfish growers in Shelton who are working hard to deal with increased ocean acidification and the resulting difficulty to grow shellfish. Because of reduced snowpack in our mountains and longer drought periods in central and eastern Washington, we’re seeing water resource challenges requiring significant investments in places like the Yakima River Basin. And I’m meeting with local officials who must rebuild water treatment facilities to anticipate more severe flooding, including recently in Anacortes and later today at Discovery Park in Seattle, with King County Executive Dow Constantine.
“Taking action to reduce carbon pollution is not only important for our children, our environment and our health, it is essential for our economy. The costs of inaction are simply too high. Meanwhile, there are enormous opportunities in developing the clean energy technologies that will cleanly fuel our homes and businesses for decades to come. And once again, Washington state is uniquely poised to lead the nation. I applaud Senator Murray and President Obama for their actions today to highlight the economic risks we face if we continue to delay climate action. And I commend the President for his leadership at the federal level to reduce carbon pollution from our nation’s power plants.”