Markey Appointed to Environment and Public Works Committee

Senator plans ambitious agenda of climate action, job creation, environmental protection; EPW, Foreign Relations, Commerce, Small Business Committee posts give Senator broad platform to represent Massachusetts


WASHINGTON (February 11, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) was appointed today to the Environment and Public Works Committee, providing an important placement to help Senator Markey advance legislation that attacks climate change, creates infrastructure jobs, and keeps the air and water clean in Massachusetts and across the nation. The appointment comes after a successful history of work by Senator Markey on issues overseen by the committee.

“The work done on the Environment and Public Works Committee is proof that we can have a healthy economy and a healthy environment at the same time, creating jobs even as we cut pollution,” said Senator Markey. “Whether it’s repairing our roads and bridges, expanding commerce at Boston Harbor, or combating climate change, I am going to use my service on this committee to help Massachusetts now and in the future. I look forward to working with Chairman Boxer and my other colleagues on the committee.”

Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Committee said, “Senator Markey will be a great addition to the Environment and Public Works Committee because of his proven effectiveness as a legislator.  He has shown great leadership on the issues that the EPW Committee is working on right now, including addressing climate change, investing in critical transportation and water infrastructure, and ensuring that our nuclear facilities are safe and secure.  I welcome Senator Markey to this Committee and look forward to working with him on these critical issues.”

Senator Markey is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Commerce, and Small Business Committees. On the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Markey is the Chairman of the International Development and Environmental Protection Subcommittee, which handles foreign aid programs, international energy and climate agreements, oceans, and other issues. He is also lead co-Chair of the Climate Change Clearinghouse. The combination of these appointments gives Senator Markey a broad platform to represent issues central to Massachusetts and the nation. 

Senator Markey will work on many issues critical for Massachusetts handled by the committee, including:

--Transportation reauthorization bill to provide many years of robust funding to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, and other infrastructure in Massachusetts.

--Water resources legislation, which includes plans to modernize Boston Harbor shipping routes.

--Toxic substances control legislation to protect Americans from harmful chemicals and protect the right of Massachusetts and other states to set more protective standards.

--Safety oversight for the nuclear power industry, including Pilgrim, Seabrook, and Vermont Yankee power plants in New England.

--Superfund oversight of the clean up the Housatonic River, New Bedford Harbor and other sites.

-- Clean Air Act oversight to ensure that upwind states are not passing their pollution onto Massachusetts and that the EPA’s authority to reduce carbon pollution established by the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v EPA is being used. 

Senator Markey has a long history of working on issues within EPW’s jurisdiction, including:

--CLIMATE: In 2009, Senator Markey was the co-author of the landmark Waxman-Markey bill, the only comprehensive climate legislation ever to pass a chamber of Congress. In 2007, his legislation to increase fuel economy standards was enacted, paving the way for the current 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 standard. From 2007-2010, he was Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

--PUBLIC WORKS: Senator Markey was instrumental in re-sanding Revere Beach, the nation’s oldest beach. More recently, he secured two federal grants to build a parking garage, public plaza, and pedestrian bridge at Wonderland MBTA Station in Revere. Those projects will allow the City of Revere convert parking lots into a vibrant, transit oriented, mixed use neighborhood. He also secured federal money to improve Pleasant Street in downtown Malden. Those improvements have attracted new restaurants, housing, and businesses to the downtown area.  

--TOXICS: Senator Markey was a leading architect of the Superfund law following hazardous waste dumping in Woburn, Mass. that sickened and killed children, and has fought to clean up contaminated areas in Massachusetts and across the country and ensure polluters pay for the cleanup costs. He has fought to make consumer products safer and ban harmful chemicals and products that contain triclosan, BPA, and other endocrine disruptors.

--ENDANGERED SPECIES: A long-standing champion of letting science guide the recovery of species in peril, Senator Markey has fought against efforts to undermine the success of the Endangered Species Act. 

--NUCLEAR SAFETY: Even before Three Mile Island, Senator Markey led the fight to keep America’s nuclear reactors safe, especially as they age. He has also pushed for  greater U.S. safety measures following the Fukushima meltdowns, for faster removal of spent nuclear fuel, and for more robust investigation into aging reactors.

--BP SPILL RESPONSE: As Chairman of Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee, Senator Markey was a leading Congressional investigator into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, examining every aspect of the spill, including the use of toxic dispersants, safety short-cuts taken by BP and its contractors, oil spill response plans prepared by the oil industry, and the safety of seafood following the spill. 

--OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF: Senator Markey has led the fight to protect Georges Bank and the New England coast from offshore oil drilling, introducing bills to protect the fishing grounds and coastline from oil extraction.

Senator Markey was appointed to EPW after Senator Max Baucus resigned from the Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China. The Senate Democratic caucus today voted to approve Senator Markey’s appointment to the committee, which will become official when a resolution is passed in the Senate in the coming days.