WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and a senior member and former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee, tonight issued the following statement after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address:
Tonight, President Obama offered a blueprint for the future that holds the promise of jobs and prosperity for middle-class families, security and savings for our workers and businesses, and the hope for a better tomorrow for future generations. There is nothing more urgent than rebuilding America’s economy, and the President’s words tonight offered hope that a new Sputnik moment will bring our nation to great heights and to new horizons.  

“If we are going to win the future, we must win the clean energy race. Tonight, President Obama challenged Republicans to back jobs created from renewable energy, not just coal and oil.  I still doubt that the ‘drill, baby, drill’ crowd will head the call to ‘innovate, baby, innovate,’ especially when investments would be paid for by cutting the wasteful and unnecessary billions in tax breaks that the oil companies currently receive. When your eyes are always trained to the ground, looking for the next place to drill, it’s easy for a Sputnik moment to fly right over your head.

“Questions remain about this new clean energy goal. How will it ensure that consumers are getting the cheapest, cleanest energy, not subsidizing the riskiest, dirtiest energy? Will it be an even playing field, or will it still be slanted against wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies? And after we have answered these questions, we must get back to the work of creating the clean energy jobs and technologies of the 21st century. Because it’s not only an innovation race, it’s also an installation race.

“Faster, more reliable wireless Internet service will unlock opportunities for American businesses to compete across the country and around the world while also enabling our students to access educational resources that otherwise would be out of reach. The National Broadband Plan provides a roadmap for increasing deployment of high-speed Internet access. The President's call tonight for expanded deployment of next generation wireless service is consistent with the Plan and crucial for our country's competitiveness in the future.

“I appreciated President Obama’s commitment to a serious and robust debate on how to cut our nation’s debt. However, Draconian proposals that privatize Social Security, roll-back Medicare benefits, tax workers’ health benefits or undermine the protections and safety net for middle-class American families, our seniors, and some of our most vulnerable citizens are not acceptable. Deficit reduction must be a priority as we rebuild our economy, and we must do so in a responsible, fair and fiscally-sound manner.

“I was pleased to hear President Obama’s continued commitment to protecting the new healthcare law. Our health care system has been ailing for decades. And last year’s passage of healthcare reform will mean an end to skyrocketing health care premiums and a commitment to putting patients’ freedoms over profits. I join the President in moving forward, not back, on these reforms and protecting this valuable law.”

“Tonight, the President has laid out a bold vision for America’s future: of what is required of us to build our great nation and make us the global leader in the 21st century. I welcome President Obama’s remarks and will continue to work everyday to ensure the kind of prosperous, bright future that he challenged us tonight to achieve."