Markey and clean energy standard

Source: BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico • Posted: Monday, February 8, 2021

A decade after his push for major cap and trade legislation was derailed, now-Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) says the drive for a Green New Deal is helping boost momentum and pave the way for Congress to make major progress on climate change in 2021.

Sen. Ed Markey speaks at the Back the Thrive Agenda press conference at the Longworth Office Building on Sept. 10, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Ed Markey speaks at the Back the Thrive Agenda press conference at the Longworth Office Building on Sept. 10, 2020 in Washington, D.C. | Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network

Markey told Pro’s Anthony Adragna on Friday he is pleased with President Joe Biden’s early moves on climate change, describing them as “very consistent with the goals” of the Green New Deal resolution he and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) unveiled two years ago.

“I would say that it’s an excellent start,” he said in response to Mitch McConnell‘s recent comments that Biden’s actions amounted to a “piecemeal” Green New Deal. “Talking about Joe Biden, it’s an agenda that in my opinion is going to have climate justice built into every reconciliation package.”

The Massachusetts senator also said he wants Democrats to pursue a clean energy standard over carbon pricing in their push for climate legislation. “[M]y view is that sector-wide solutions like a clean energy standard can help enact the Biden campaign promise of moving toward 100 percent carbon-free electricity sector by 2035,” he said. “And there’s a strong case to be made that this policy proposal can be done through reconciliation. It’s effective, it’s endorsed by the Biden campaign, [and] it polls very well. And I think it should be our starting point for climate negotiations, not a carbon tax.”

He also reflected on lessons learned from the Waxman-Markey bill: “Henry Waxman and I decided to draft that bill and to finish it quickly. We passed the bill through the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009, Barack Obama had been inaugurated on Jan. 20. We started the hearings before he was sworn in as a president. So my belief is that we had the right strategy in the House in 2009, and in 2021 the House and Senate both must move quickly to implement a climate crisis response legislative package and to not allow it to slip into 2022. It must be done and it must be done quickly and we should go.”