Few members of Congress past or present have done more for ocean conservation than Ed Markey. During four decades in the House of Representatives, then-Congressman Markey fought for and achieved significant environmental victories.
Following his recent win in the Massachusetts special election, we wanted to highlight how the Bay State Democrat, and the newest senator, has been an ocean champion throughout his career:
- Markey was the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change from 2007-2011, where he led the charge on climate change policies and the development of legislation to shift America to a clean-energy future.
- Markey co-authored the American Clean Energy and Security Act in 2009, also known as the Waxman/Markey cap-and-trade bill, which aimed to fund and develop clean energy technology and would have required a 17 percent national carbon emissions reduction by 2020.
- During the height of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Markey pushed for aggressive oversight of the oil spill and uncovered the evidence proving that BP was purposely providing inaccurate low estimates of the oil leakage. Furthermore, Markey examined the credibility of federal investigators who examined the blowout preventer for Deepwater Horizon, working to ensure effective prevention and cleanup of this and future oil disasters.
- In addition to leaving the House, Markey has left behind his position as ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, where he worked tirelessly to promote environmental protection in all forms and notably worked as a coastal congressman to provide a conservation-minded approach to ocean protection.
- Finally, after President Obama’s creation of the National Ocean Policy, Markey utilized his committee assignments and seniority to be a staunch defender against attacks to weaken, undermine or de-fund the policy by any of its opponents.
While it is sad for us at Ocean Conservancy to see the House of Representatives lose one of its true ocean champions, we congratulate Ed Markey on his new position in the Senate and look forward to him continuing the fight for effective ocean protection and conservation now in his new role in the Senate.