Cantwell Statement on the Passing of Sen. Dale Bumpers

January 3, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement on the passing of former Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.):

“Former governor and senator from the state of Arkansas, Sen. Bumpers served as ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 1997 until his retirement.

“Dale Bumpers grew up in the rural South during the Great Depression. He once said that ‘while we all are created equal in the sight of God, we are far from equal at birth. … Some need more help than others, and often government is the only source for such help.’

“For Dale Bumpers, public service meant helping his fellow citizens, especially the least fortunate among us. Both as a governor and then as a senator, he fought for health care, education, the environment, consumers and honest government. If ‘that is sometimes construed as liberalism,’ he said, ‘so be it.’

“At the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he was a long-time advocate of programs aimed at promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. He was a strong champion of our National Park System and historic preservation. He ‎passed various legislation that resulted in the designation of 91,000 acres of Wilderness in Arkansas alone and fought to reform the leasing of oil, gas and mineral resources on our public lands—to uphold both principles of environmental stewardship and a fair return for taxpayers.

“He was eloquent, passionate in his beliefs and witty. He loved this country, was devoted to his constituents and unwavering in his commitment to his guiding principles. He never lost his reverence for the Constitution or the Senate. He was all a United States Senator should be, and we should all cherish his memory.”