Cantwell Statement on Historic Pacific Northwest Heat Wave, Calls for Decarbonization

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, as the Pacific Northwest continues to experience an unprecedented heat wave, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement:

“Washington state was not built for triple digit temperatures. That’s why Congress must ensure the upcoming infrastructure package accelerates the decarbonization of our economy, safeguards our communities against extreme weather, and puts America in a position to manufacture the clean energy technologies the world needs to affordably and rapidly reduce carbon pollution,” said Senator Cantwell.

For over two decades, Senator Cantwell has been the leading voice in the Senate advocating for environmental protections and decarbonization policy. In the last few months alone, Senator Cantwell has introduced legislation that would reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry, improve hydropower dams, and broaden the use of biodiesel. She also helped secure grants for local Washington state transit authorities for low and no emission vehicles.

In May, Cantwell authored and introduced the Fueling America’s Security and Transportation with Electricity Act of 2021 (FAST Electricity Act) which creates a new federal tax incentive to accelerate the manufacture and adoption of all types of electrified transportation modes including recreational vehicles, boats, ships, planes, and industrial equipment such as forklifts, tractors, excavators, and port equipment. Senator Cantwell was the lead author with Senator Hatch of the current $7,500 tax incentive for electrified passenger vehicles, a credit that is often cited as being pivotal in growing the electric car and truck market from essentially nothing 15 years ago to now hundreds of models that consumers will be able to choose from in the next year or two.