Congressman Ed Markey (MA-7), Chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, delivered the Democratic radio response to President Bush’s weekly radio address. Markey’s remarks focused on what he saw as a member of a recent bipartisan Congressional delegation that went to Greenland and Europe to observe the effects of global warming.  “President Bush has had six and a half years to enact meaningful limits on global warming pollution, and he has failed. In fact, he hasn’t even tried: under President Bush, the United States refused to even participate in the international effort to control global warming. His new plan is to discuss voluntary goals for another 18 months, guaranteeing that he will end his eight-year term with the United States contribution to global warming pollution considerably worse than when he took office,” Markey said.

“I just came back from a trip with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Greenland and Western Europe to meet with leading scientists and political leaders working on solutions to combat global warming. In Greenland, I witnessed firsthand the effects of rising temperatures, where glaciers are retreating at a dramatic rate and the seas no longer freeze for much of the winter. “When the glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica break up, as they are beginning to do right now, it is a sure sign to all of us that we must change our ways. And the United States has a special responsibility to lead. China and India must participate, as well. But if we don’t limit our own pollution, China or India will not develop plans to limit theirs. The world is running a fever, and there are no hospitals to care for Mother Earth. Her future is in our hands,” Markey continued.

“We are committed to passing strong energy independence and global warming legislation that can harness the unmatched capacity of America for technological leadership in energy efficiency, renewable energy, biofuels, and other innovations such as fuel cells and gas-saving hybrid cars. We are a competitive and innovative nation. If our government would set aggressive, binding limits on pollution, we would meet it. If Germany can meet new electricity demand with solar cells, so can we. If England can build zero-carbon homes, so can we. We are not waiting for President Bush. Democrats are insisting on a new direction, one based on technology, not ideology – on optimism, not fear. President Kennedy once said ‘God’s work on earth must truly be our own.’ It is our moral responsibility to lead the world to protect our planet. After all, it’s the only planet we have,” Markey concluded.

I think Markey brings up a great point about innovation and the fact the United States will have to commit to developing and using cleaner energy technology. We can’t tolerate any excuses about costs, or the market. Costs can be offset both through government subsidies and large scale production. It is interesting that Markey avoided using the term carbon cap and instead called for the much more vague “binding limits.” Big business is opposed to the cap, and so are the oil and coal industries. Many of workers in the energy industry are Democrats. This issue cuts both ways. In order to get a comprehensive policy, there is going to have to be a bipartisan agreement. The Democrats are out in front of this issue, but the GOP is slowly coming around. The biggest obstacle is George W. Bush. Once he is out of office, I expect something to get done.

Full text of the Democratic radio response 

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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