So, as you know, I was at the Ed Markey address last Sunday. Someone recently asked me what I thought of it. Here’s what I had to say:

So first of all I want to say that I respect Congressman Markey a lot. He’s great on Net Neutrality, general Telecommunications policy, and the environment. I don’t remember disagreeing with much, or any, of his speech. I applaud his realization that we can grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time. Furthermore, his characterization of India and China, and how we had to tell them to stop polluting carbon from a position of having done so already as spot on.

Ed Markey clearly gets it. That said, I did have some questions for him and some disagreements. During the question and answer period, he briefly remarked on realizing the goal of an electricity network where every can use renewable energy and sell it back to the grid. I wish he would expand on what plans are in place to make that happen.

During the question and answer period, someone else asked about Nuclear power. I think Markey had a very smart answer – it’s investment bankers, not politicians, who killed nuclear power. Then again, it would be more truthful to note we have a policy frowing on new Nuclear plants until we find a way to deal with nuclear waste (that’s better than Yucca mountain). To be clear, that’s a good thing. Nuclear power brings a lot of problems, including the fact that increasing nuclear power worldwide increases the risk for weaponized nuclear proliferation.

I had my own chance to question for Congressman Markey – what did he think about the McCain-Warner proposed bill? I think he was a bit too defensive – he also tried to sidestep the question by saying it reflected the partisan realities of the senate, pivoting into a call for electing more Democrats. Now, I have nothing against electing more Democrats, but Markey didn’t address the real issue here: McCain-Warner is a sham bill. It doesn’t set a goal that will save the planet, while at the same time it includes massive corporate giveaways. If McCain-Warner is defined as a right-wing bill, then we’re making progress. If the perception becomes that McCain-Warner is a “centrist” “compromise” resolution (The press loves those), then we, the people of earth, lose. We need a bill that will save the planet, not a bill that is a “bipartisan” or a “compromise” for bipartisanship’s sake.

Lastly, while I respect Ed Markey, I was very shocked when he bragged about behind a force behind the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Fool! One doesn’tt *brag* about the 1996 Telecommunications Act, one *cringes* at the act. The 1996 Telco act decreased competition, increased consolidation of media outlets, and was, at it’s core, a raid on government coffers by a few big Telco companies. Telco’s have this trick –
1. they get the government to give them tons of cash to improve broadband infrastructure
2. they do nothing.
3. Repeat!

This trick is not very good for getting us broadband. But in 1996 is was very good at giving the Telco companies $200 Billion, with nothing to show for it. I’m very upset that Markey is proud of this egregious example of corporate welfare.

2 comments on “Reflections on Ed Markey”

  1. Nelson Rutrick Says:

    I was the one who asked Markey the question on Nuclear Power – and I considered his answer to be outdated.

    That’s just one example – but honestly, all one has to do is read the wikipedia on ‘Nuclear power’ in order to realize how for the first time in 30+ years it’s expanding in the US. The ‘cost’ problem is much, much smaller of a problem and investment bankers are lining up to get in on new nuclear power plants’ profit.

    Only Clinton and Edwards have given their support to the environmental movement which is strongly against Nuclear Power – Obama has been quiet on the issue, but once included in a speech that the future of the United States should involve diversification of our energy interests, including increased use of nuclear energy.

    Most liberal activists are unaware of the fact that despite nuclear plants emit no C02 they are actually _universally opposed_ by environmental groups for a number of problems.

    Anywho, just going on a rant about one of the issues which make me so anti-Obama.

  2. Ben Serby Says:

    I heard recently that Yucca Mountain is situated on something like eight fault lines. What a wonderful idea! We are in no shape right now to start building nuclear power plants, seductive though the idea may be to anyone who wants to reduce carbon emissions.