Rep. Markey has been a leading voice in the ongoing Congressional investigation into the BP oil spill. He insisted that the company reveal the true size of the spill's flow rate, raised concerns about the use of toxic chemical dispersants and forced BP to make live video footage of the oil spill available to the public on the Spillcam website he created.
From 2007 to 2010, at the direction of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Markey served as Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The Select Committee has held 80 hearings and briefings and contributed to the advancement of smarter energy and climate policies, including the first increase in fuel economy standards in three decades, which Rep. Markey authored.
During the 111th Congress, Rep. Markey also chaired the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Perhaps the most powerful Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, it had unprecedented jurisdiction over national energy and environmental policy. As Chairman, Markey co-authored the landmark Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act," which was approved by the House of Representatives in June 2009.
Reflecting his commitment to maintaining the quality of life and economic opportunity in New England and across America. Gene Karpinski, the President of the League of Conservation Voters of the United States, has said “there is no greater environmental champion in Congress than Ed Markey as we fight to head off the looming catastrophe of climate change,” and Kevin Knobloch, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists has said that Rep. Markey “is part of an exciting, game-changing leadership in the Congress on climate and energy.” President Obama has also noted that "the House of Representatives has already passed historic legislation" on energy and environmental issues "due in large part to the efforts of Massachusetts' own Ed Markey" noting in a speech in Boston that Markey “deserves a big round of applause” for his leadership in drafting the Waxman-Markey bill.
In addition to his work on energy and environmental issues, Rep. Markey is a national leader on technology policy and consumer protection. He served for 20 years as Chair or Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, where he was the principal author of many of the laws now governing our nation’s telephone, broadcasting, cable television, wireless, and broadband communications systems. He is the author of H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, a bill that would ensure that as the Internet continues to evolve, it remains a level playing field guided by the principles of openness and competition.
Competition remains Chairman 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. Rep. 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.
From 2003 to 2009, Rep. Markey also served as a senior member of The House Homeland Security Committee. In that capacity, he 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 Rep. 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.”
In addition, Rep. Markey 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. He has been a key leader on providing privacy protections for personal information such as medical records, financial records, and purchases on-line.