Edward J. Markey has constructed an extraordinary legislative record since his first election to the United States Congress in 1976. As one of the most senior Members in Congress, he has shaped more than 20 years of telecommunications policy while championing consumer rights, health reform, the elimination of large monopolies, the conservation of environmental resources, the reduction of nuclear threats and the strengthening of our homeland security.
He is one of the most informed voices in Congress concerning both energy and environmental policy, and he has consistently advocated for consumer rights, clean tech, energy efficiency and environmental protection.
Senator Markey serves as the Ranking Member of the, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the Senate Committee on Small Business. He currently serves as Chair of the Senate Climate Clearinghouse.
Senator Markey’s legislative record spans the breadth of Congressional policymaking reflecting his former positions as a senior member of three key committees: the Natural Resources Committee, where he served as Ranking Member, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Committee on Homeland Security. Markey also had the honor of Chairing the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming during the 110th and 111th Congresses.
On Energy and Commerce, Markey served as Chair/Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet for 27 years.
In addition, he is the co chair of bipartisan Caucuses on Nonproliferation, on Privacy, on Alzheimer’s disease, and on Cystic Fibrosis. He is a fighter for the welfare of his constituents in the blue-collar and high-tech communities of his district north and west of downtown Boston and, as the dean of the Massachusetts delegation in the House, he also works to harness the energy and influence of his colleagues on behalf of the entire Commonwealth.
Competition remains Senator Markey’s economic mantra–in his words, “ruthless Darwinian competition that would bring a smile to Adam Smith.” Accordingly, he has been instrumental in breaking up anti-consumer, anti-innovative monopolies in electricity, long-distance and local telephone service, cable television, and international satellite services. He was one of the only members of the Commerce Committee to fight AT&T’s monopoly in the early 80s and is a principal author of the requirement that the Bell Operating companies accept local telephone service in the 90s. His pro-competition policies have directly benefited job creation in Eastern Massachusetts and throughout the country. Senator Markey is a champion for Net Neutrality and nondiscrimination on the Internet and for new sources of effective competition to cable TV franchises, local telephone operators, and satellite and other wireless services.
On energy and the environment, Markey led the effort to pass the landmark Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which boosted fuel economy for cars and trucks to 35 MPG by 2020 -the first increase in fuel economy in 32 years. He also co-author of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy & Security Act –the comprehensive energy and climate bill that included a Renewable Energy Standard, and a cap on dangerous carbon pollution.
He was one of the principal authors of HR 6, one of the first bills to pass the 110th Congress, seeking to recover $14 billion in unnecessary tax incentives to the oil and gas industry and redirecting that funding to a new fund for incentives for energy efficiency, renewable and alternative fuels. He led the effort to pass the landmark 1987 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act which has eliminated the need for hundreds of large carbon-emitting electric power plants by setting minimum energy efficiency standards for major energy-consuming household appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators and washer-dryers. His amendment to the Clean Air Act ensured that energy efficiency would be credited under the cap-and-trade system that has reduced acid rain.
In addition to leading the effort to raise the minimum fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks sold in America, and he has led the effort to prevent oil and gas drilling in the federally-protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The ongoing oil and gas drilling activity on the North Slope already leads to greenhouse gas emissions that exceed the emissions of Washington DC. From 1985-1987, he chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee, and from 1980-1984 he chaired the House Interior Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. He also serves as an honorary Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.
During his service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Markey served on the House Homeland Security Committee, Markey focused on closing gaps in our homeland defenses, particularly in the areas of nuclear, aviation, rail, liquefied natural gas and chemical security. National Journal named Markey to its “Homeland Security 100”, a list of the top leaders influencing homeland security policy, identifying him as “a tenacious watchdog, relentlessly prodding the Bush Administration to crack down on what he sees as critical gaps in the nation’s security. He is a key leader on providing privacy protections for personal information such as medical records, financial records, and purchases on-line. Markey is also leading the reform of the Food and Drug Administration, which continues to prevent important information concerning drug safety from being readily available to the public. As a leading consumer advocate in Congress, Senator Markey continues his legislative efforts to protect consumers from fatal fires through the establishment of the first federal standard for cigarette fire safety.