In First Senate Floor Speech Markey Calls for Focus on Innovation to Create Jobs, Economic Opportunity

Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742


Eben BurnhamSnyder (Markey) 2022242742

Will introduce legislation to create clean energy jobs, strengthen energy infrastructure, protect children's privacy online

Washington (September 18, 2013) - In his first speech on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) called on Congress to create jobs and spur growth and encouraged the kind of innovation and ingenuity that are hallmarks of the Massachusetts' economy. In his address, Senator Markey highlighted Massachusetts' leadership as a national hightech, cleantech, biotech hub and announced plans to introduce legislation that would spur American leadership in the industries of the 21st century to create jobs now.

"In this era of innovation, there are jobs that are not yet imagined, in fields that haven't been created, within industries that don't yet exist," said Senator Markey. "I say to this Chamber, it is time for us to be bold once again."

In his address, Senator Markey highlighted the Massachusetts's position at the forefront of the current energy revolution and committed to introducing legislation that will call for America to reach a 25 percent target of clean energy and energy efficiency improvements by 2025. Senator Markey also announced he will introduce legislation to fix the aging natural gas system in Massachusetts and across the country, making it cleaner and more efficient. Currently, clean energy now employs 80,000 people across 5,000 businesses in Massachusetts.

"If we continue our commitments to clean energy, we will put steelworkers and ironworkers and welders and electricians to work building a new backbone for a new energy economy here in the United States and around the world," said Senator Markey.

Senator Markey called for an end to the era of climate denial, pointing to the moral duty to future generations to address climate change. 

"Climate change is irrefutable. It is raising sea levels," said Senator Markey. "It is giving storms more power. We must put in place the preventative care of unleashing a renewable energy revolution in wind, in solar, in biomass, in geothermal, in energy efficiency that avoids the worst, most catastrophic impacts of climate change on our planet." 

Senator Markey also announced he soon would introduce the bipartisan "Do Not Track Kids" legislation.  The Do Not Track Kids Act would update and enhance the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). Senator Markey was the House author of COPPA when he served in the House of Representatives. 

Senator Markey called again for an end to sequestration, pointing to the disproportionate damage it would do to the Massachusetts economy, which is driven by the telecommunications, life sciences and clean energy industries.

"We must also end the mindless, acrosstheboard budget cuts from sequestration," said Senator Markey. "Cutting programs like Head Start will leave a generation of kids lagging behind. Slashing investments in science means the breakthroughs that create jobs and cure deadly diseases could go undiscovered."    

The Commonwealth ranks first in per capita dollars awarded by the National Institutes of Health, supporting 35,000 jobs statewide. Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation in math, in reading and are tied for first with New York in science.

Markey also called for passing commonsense gun laws, raising the minimum wage and keeping college affordable so that all people have the opportunity to succeed.

"What unites us is the unshakeable belief that no matter where you come from, no matter your circumstances, you can achieve the American Dream," said Senator Markey. "We believe everyone should get a fair shot. No one should be left behind. It is time to get back to the values that made Massachusetts and this country great." 

Senator Markey was elected on June 25 and sworn in on July 16.

Full text of the speech can be found HERE . Audio of the speech can be found HERE . Video of the speech can be found HERE.