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Senator Markey Speaking at BCC's 59th Commencement
02:23PM / Wednesday, March 27, 2019
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey will be the keynote speaker at Berkshire Community College's 59th commencement exercises to be held May 31 at Tanglewood in Lenox.

Markey, the state's junior senator, is a consumer champion and national leader on energy, environmental protection and telecommunications policy.

"On behalf of the students, faculty, staff and board of trustees at Berkshire Community College, we are so thrilled to have Senator Ed Markey as our 2019 commencement speaker," said Ellen Kennedy, president of BCC. "Markey visited our newly reimagined campus in the fall last year and got to tour the new buildings and classrooms and the Gene Dellea turf field with our student ambassadors, some of whom he will get to see again as they walk across the stage this year at commencement."

Markey's record of energy and environmental legislative efforts include:

  • Principal House author of the 2007 fuel economy law, which will increase fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, the first increase in a generation;
  • Author of the appliance efficiency act of 1987, which stopped the construction of hundreds of coal-fired plants;
  • Author of the law that established the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, ensuring that New England families aren't be left out in the cold when oil prices spike;
  • Author of the law that requires electricity regulators to open up the wholesale electric power market for the first time;
  • Co-author in 2009 of the landmark Waxman-Markey bill, the only comprehensive climate legislation ever to pass a chamber of Congress, and;
  • Current co-author with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York of the Green New Deal resolution, a 10-year mobilization plan with the purpose of creating millions of jobs, providing prosperity and economic security for Americans, and counteracting systemic injustices while addressing the existential challenge of climate change.

As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Markey is a national leader on telecommunications policy, technology and privacy. While in the House, he served for 20 years as chair or ranking member of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

He is the House author of the 1992 Cable Act, which increased choices for millions of consumers and enabled satellite-delivered programming to be more widely offered. He also authored the law in 1993 that moved over 200 MHz of spectrum from government to commercial use, creating the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth wireless phone companies. Markey authored the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, ushering competition into the telecommunications marketplace and unleashing private sector investment.

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 also has been a key leader on providing privacy protections for personal information such as medical records, financial records, and on-line purchases and is the author of the landmark law that strengthens privacy protections for children.

Markey was born in Malden and attended Boston College and Boston College Law School. He served in the 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.

BCC's 59th commencement will be held Friday, May 31, at 4:30 p.m. in The Shed at Tanglewood. The event is open to the public. Tickets are not required. Visit BCC online at

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