Boxer retirement a big loss for greens

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTrucking riders ‘in the mix’ for short-term spending bill Lawmakers praise defense bill's National Guard bonus fix Schumer’s elevation to leader spells trouble for Democrats MORE’s (D-Calif.) decision to leave the Senate in two years is a major loss for the environmental movement.

Green groups said they’ll miss having in the Senate an environmental advocate as strong as Boxer, who pushed for many of their priorities in her more than three decades in Congress.

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Boxer is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee and was its chairwoman from 2007 until this week.

Greens say Boxer has been a steadfast advocate for cutting air and water pollution, fighting climate change and challenging fossil fuel interests.

“Sen. Boxer is an indispensable ally, and we’ll greatly miss her leadership in Congress,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement.

He added that her “tireless work advocating for clean air, clean water and climate action has helped shape the movement for decades.”

“The Sierra Club and everyone across the environmental movement owes Senator Boxer a debt of gratitude for her three decades of tireless leadership to protect our air and water, fight for clean energy jobs, and take real action on the climate crisis,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist founder of NextGen Climate and a Californian, said the state has been “very, very fortunate” to have her.

“Over the course of her career, Sen. Barbara Boxer has been a warrior for progressive causes — protecting our climate, championing the rights of women and children, and defending the core Democratic values of civil rights and economic equality for millions of Americans,” he said.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said the environmental movement will lose “one of our most important congressional voices on our most important issues.”

Krupp pointed to a 1994 filibuster Boxer led against rolling back environmental rules as evidence of her green credentials.

“Boxer has always been at the forefront of battles for climate action, clean air and clean water,” he said.