Veteran Congressman wants to continue work on Alzheimer’s, Clean Energy

When veteran U.S. Congressman Ed Markey (D-Malden) begins talking about his accomplishments over the last two years, it’s a list that tends to take some time.

Markey has been in the Congress for 34 years and is seeking re-election this year for his 7th Congressional seat, which includes Everett, Revere and Winthrop.

Markey said he hopes to continue pushing for his clean energy agenda, specifically the legislation known as the Cap & Trade Bill.

He said that the bill passed the House, but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate. While the bill is very controversial nationwide, Markey said it was something that would have benefited Massachusetts and the rest of the country.

"It would have moved the country to wind, solar and all-electric vehicles and energy efficiency in a massive way," he said. "It would have created tens of thousands of jobs in Massachusetts. The Republicans in the Senate from Kentucky and Oklahoma stalled it because they want to keep us addicted to this fossil fuel era as a means of generating energy."

Additionally, and on a personal note, Markey said he was able to include a piece of legislation in the Health Care Bill concerning Alzheimer’s care.

Markey’s mother suffered from the disease for many years until dying in 1998 at age 90. During those tough years, Markey said he and his father were able to care for her at their Malden home. However, he saw that it wasn’t easy and maybe there could be changes.

"What became clear is we need a national plan to ensure that families who want to keep someone at home should have the resources to do it," he said. "We gave nursing homes and hospitals incentives to keep the people at home…I think this is very important to the kind of people who live in Revere and Winthrop where families are very central."

The measure is called the Independence At Home Act and is part of Medicare.

Markey also stated that he was instrumental in helping get the truth out about the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.

"I was able to force BP to hand over the video so the American people could see the full extent of the damage being done by BP to the Gulf," said Markey.

If elected and sent back to Washington, Markey said he would work hard on several initiatives that have passed the House, but not the Senate – including legislation on safe drinking water, dangerous chemicals and the use of potentially dangerous plastics.

He also said he has been working with the CIA and the Pentagon to secure the electric grid. He hasn’t had success getting the measure passed by the Senate, but he hopes to return to work on that.

"The Pentagon and CIA feel our greatest security risk was the ability for Al Qaeda to attack our electrical grid in the U.S. and knock out our capacity," he said. "I was able to pass legislation though the House working with the CIA and the electrical industry that mandates and upgrade to the security of the grid against an attack from Al Qaeda."

Finally, he said he will return to work on his pet issue and a very personal issue, that being Alzheimer’s Disease.

He indicated that he is the chair and founder of the Alzheimer’s Caucus and he hopes to push legislation that will seek a cure.

"We must cure it and make an all out effort to stop it or else it is going to end up breaking the medical system in our country," he said. "I’m going to lead the charge on that."

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