WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee and of the Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence delivered the following opening statement before the full Energy and Commerce Committee:

"The coalition of American businesses and environmental groups before us today represents the evolution that has occurred on the issue of global warming. We have emerged from the last decade's primordial ooze of discord and delay on global warming action. We have now arrived on terra firma, where hard emission reduction targets must supplant voluntary measures that aren't up to the job. And instead of struggling to stay afloat in a mire of skepticism, we're now poised to march forward with a new, climate-friendly Obama administration and Congressional leadership.

But evolution will only take us so far on this issue.  What we need now is legislative intelligent design.  Now the hard task of enacting global warming legislation is before us.

The witnesses here today, their shareholders and members, and a growing majority of Americans know that the key to our economic growth, national security, and planetary survival is to pass energy and climate legislation that will finally unleash the clean energy revolution that has been building for years.

The CEOs that are testifying before us today are not here to harm shareholder value, they are here to help lay out a plan that will enhance shareholder value in the years ahead, to target where the economic growth opportunities are for our country and to create the jobs that will employ this generation and the generations to come. That is why they are here. They understand the problems better than any our country has faced before economically.

Our country has been hit with an economic tsunami.  At the same time, we are feeling the early effects of a climate storm that is growing stronger and approaching faster than predicted just a few years ago.  Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation is the solution to both these problems.  And it is a solution for the whole country.  Hi-tech hubs like Massachusetts and sunny California will benefit, but so will steelworkers in Pennsylvania and former Maytag manufacturing workers in Iowa, who are building blades for wind turbines.  And ranchers in Texas and South Dakota are seeing their relentless winds turn into revenue with every turn on the wind turbines sprouting on their lands.

Last Congress, I introduced iCAP-the Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act-as my contribution to the climate policy discussion.  Many of the core ideas of iCAP are reflected in the discussion draft put forward by Chairman Dingell and Chairman Boucher last October.  And many are consistent with the blueprint issued by the U.S. Climate Action Partnership today.  These developments bode well for the work before us, and I look forward to working with our newly chosen Chairman, who has shown tremendous leadership on this issue. I look forward to working with the other members of the committee, the administration and the American people to enact climate legislation that will save our economy and protect the planet. As the new Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, I am committed to moving a bill as quickly as possible because the urgency of the problem demands swift action."

The statement is available on Chairman Markey's website: http://markey.house.gov/docs/energy_environment/1-15-09_ec_uscap_hrg_-_ejm_delivered_opening_statement.pdf

More information on the hearing is available on the Energy and Commerce website: http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1470&Itemid=1 


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January 15, 2009

CONTACT: Daniel Reilly (202) 225-2836