"There is no greater environmental champion in Congress than Ed Markey as we fight to head off the looming catastrophe of climate change."-Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters
"Chairman Markey has been a long-time champion of effective, economically sound environmental policies." -Alden Meyer, Strategy and Policy Director, Union of Concerned Scientists
"For years, Congressman Markey has been one of the environment's strongest champions on Capitol Hill." -Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder
"Maybe I'm projecting, but I like to see [Obama's 2010 Economic Report of the President] as a high-five from the White House to Pelosi, Waxman, and Markey, who did yeoman's work passing a responsible piece of legislation and have gotten nothing but grief for it ever since."- David Roberts with Grist
An environmental champion, Ed Markey has provided pioneering leadership in protection our environment, in the fight against global warming and in creating a roadmap for energy independence in the United States. Twenty eight years ago, Ed Markey laid out his vision for an energy independent future in his speech to the 1980 Democratic National Convention (read Ed's 1980 convention speech) and he continues to lead the charge for a clean energy future in Congress today.
Throughout his 34 years in Congress, Ed has fought in both the Energy & Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to protect our planet from climate change, and to recover a fair amount in royalties from the oil companies when they drill on public lands. In 1987, Ed Markey led the effort to pass the landmark 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. He fought to mandate additional appliance standards in 1992, 2005, and 2009.
Ed is a close friend and ally of Nancy Pelosi so when she took the Speaker's gavel in 2007, she asked Ed to take the lead on her signature issue: saving the planet from the existential threat of climate change and named him as the Chairman of her new Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee.
That year, after more than a decade of effort, Ed was able to pass the first Congressional increase in fuel economy standards in 32 years. This will raise the fuel economy standards of our vehicles from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon. When fully implemented, the efficiency improvements in this bill, along with the biofuels mandate, will back out the equivalent of all the oil we currently import from the Persian Gulf.
Since 2007, Ed has had over 50 hearings in the Select Committee to build the case for passing a global warming and energy bill that will finally deal with the economic and environmental threats from our dirty and outdated energy systems. That year, Ed was the author of a bill to recover $14 billion in unnecessary tax breaks given to the oil and gas industry and redirect that money to a new fund to foster innovation in the use of energy efficiency and renewable and alternative fuels.
In 2009, Ed added a second key chairmanship, when he became Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce's Energy and Environment Subcommittee, which has legislative jurisdiction over the Energy Department, the EPA, the NRC, and the FERC.
On June 26, 2009, because of Ed's tremendous leadership, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act-- the most important energy and environmental bill in the history of the United States.