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2007 Commencement Speaker: Congressman Edward Markey

3/27/07--Edward J. Markey, a Boston College and BC Law graduate and one of the most senior members of Congress, will address the 75th class at Commencement.

3/27/07--Boston College Law School is pleased to announce that Edward J. Markey (BC Law '72), a distinguished and longtime member of Congress, has accepted the School's invitation to speak at the 2007 Law School commencement.

"Congressman Ed Markey is one of the most distinguished graduates of Boston College Law School, whose career of public service reflects the very best values and traditions of the School," said BC Law Dean John H. Garvey.  "He is a national leader on energy and the environment, whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently has named to be Chairman the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.  This Committee has been given responsibility for tackling our nation's dependence on imported oil and the threat posed by global climate change."

Congressman Markey is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, in charge of ensuring our telecommunications laws and regulations continue to spur technological innovation, competition, consumer choice, and privacy protection.  Stephen Brobeck, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America, has called Congressman Markey "the greatest champion of consumers in the Congress."

Congressman Markey is also the lead author of legislation to prevent prisoners captured in the war on terrorism from being sent overseas to be tortured, a bill which Amnesty International has called a "critically important piece of legislation" that would "go a long way towards reestablishing the United States' reputation as a nation that leads the world on human rights."

"I don't believe Boston College has ever had a better friend in the United States Congress than Ed Markey," Garvey said.  "He has been a member of the Law School's Board of Overseers since its inception.  He is constantly looking for ways to help both us and the University. It is wonderfully fitting that he should speak to our 75th class on their graduation."

Edward J. Markey has constructed an extraordinary legislative record since his first election to the United States Congress in 1976.  As one of the most senior Members in Congress, he has shaped more than 20 years of telecommunications policy while championing consumer rights, health reform, the elimination of large monopolies, the conservation of environmental resources, the reduction of nuclear threats and the strengthening of our homeland security.   He is one of the most articulate and informed voices in Congress concerning both energy and environmental policy, and he has consistently championed consumer rights, energy efficiency and environmental protection.  

In addition to his work as Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Congressman Markey is also the co chair of bipartisan Caucuses on Nonproliferation, on Privacy, on Alzheimer's disease, and on Cystic Fibrosis.  His legislative record spans the breadth of Congressional policy making.  He is a fighter for the welfare of his constituents in the blue-collar and high-tech communities of his district north and west of downtown Boston and, as the dean of the Massachusetts delegation in the House, he also works to harness the energy and influence of his colleagues on behalf of the entire Commonwealth.
Competition remains Chairman Markey's economic mantra--in his words, "ruthless Darwinian competition that would bring a smile to Adam Smith."  Accordingly, he has been instrumental in breaking up anti-consumer, anti-innovative monopolies in electricity, long-distance and local telephone service, cable television, and international satellite services.  He was one of the only members of the Commerce Committee to fight AT&T's monopoly in the early 80s and is a principal author of the requirement that the Bell Operating companies accept local telephone service in the 90s.  His pro-competition policies have directly benefited job creation in Eastern Massachusetts and throughout the country.  Rep. Markey is a champion for Net Neutrality and nondiscrimination on the Internet and for new sources of effective competition to cable TV franchises, local telephone operators, and satellite and other wireless services.  
His new chairmanship of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming reflects his career as an environmental leader in the House.  He was one of the principal authors of HR 6, one of the first bills to pass the 110th Congress, seeking to recover $14 billion in unnecessary tax incentives to the oil and gas industry and redirecting that funding to a new fund for incentives for energy efficiency, renewable and alternative fuels.  He led the effort to pass the landmark 1987 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act which has eliminated the need for hundreds of large carbon-emitting electric power plants by setting minimum energy efficiency standards for major energy-consuming household appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators and washer-dryers.  His amendment to the Clean Air Act ensured that energy efficiency would be credited under the cap-and-trade system that has reduced acid rain.
Rep. Markey has also led the effort over the last four Congresses to raise the minimum fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks sold in America, and he has led the effort to prevent oil and gas drilling in the federally-protected Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  The ongoing oil and gas drilling activity on the North Slope already leads to greenhouse gas emissions that exceed the emissions of Washington DC.  From 1985-1987, he chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy Conservation and Power Subcommittee, and from 1980-1984 he chaired the House Interior Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.  He also serves as an honorary Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.  Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters, has said "there is no greater environmental champion in Congress than Ed Markey as we fight to head off the looming catastrophe of climate change."
On the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Markey has focused on closing gaps in our homeland defenses, particularly in the areas of nuclear, aviation, rail, liquefied natural gas and chemical security.  National Journal named Rep. Markey to its 'Homeland Security 100', a list of the top leaders influencing homeland security policy, identifying him as "a tenacious watchdog, relentlessly prodding the Bush Administration to crack down on what he sees as critical gaps in the nation's security." He is a key leader on providing privacy protections for personal information such as medical records, financial records, and purchases on-line. Rep. Markey is also leading the reform of the Food and Drug Administration, which continues to prevent important information concerning drug safety from being readily available to the public. As a leading consumer advocate in Congress, Rep. Markey continues his legislative efforts to protect consumers from fatal fires through the establishment of the first federal standard for cigarette fire safety.
Ed Markey was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on July 11, 1946.  He attended Boston College (B.A., 1968) and Boston College Law School (J.D., 1972).  He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was elected to the Massachusetts State House where he served two terms representing Malden and Melrose.  He is married to Dr. Susan Blumenthal.