The energy industry, he said, is mired in the “corporate crony capitalism model.” It needs to evolve by following the revolutionary path of the personal computer and telecommunications industries. That requires constructing “a national marketplace for electrons” and creating a free market that turns every home into a power plant.
“The Baby Boomers have failed all subsequent generations,” by refusing to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases,” Markey said, adding that future generations are going to be asking why Congress didn’t act to protect the planet. “The United States cannot sit on the sidelines.”
Before closing out the hearing’s first segment, Markey reviewed a few figures with his dwindling audience.
One, this country has spent $1.3 trillion importing oil since his committee began meeting in April 2007. Two, China has committed to investing $738 billion into clean energy over the next decade. And, three, the $4-a-gallon gas from the summer of 2008 that spurred a serious national energy conversation will likely return soon.
“If Congress can supply regulatory certainty, we can unleash American ingenuity,” Markey reminded listeners. “The politics might change but the problem isn’t going away.”
Neither is Markey.
He vowed to continue being a bulldog for energy solutions as a member of the minority party.
Not only did he win his last election Nov. 2 with 66 percent of the vote but he’s in line to become the top Democrat on next year’s Republican-centric Natural Resources Committee.
In a post-hearing interview, he declined to tell reporters which subcommittee he is seeking, saying only that “we’ll see what the choices are.”
Then he turned and walked out of room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building.
(Photo of Robert Kennedy Jr. courtesy of the Select Committee)