So the 5th District now has a replacement for Ed Markey. I am sure I’m not the only fairly-close observer who still doesn’t know all that much about Katherine Clark. (I couldn’t make a one-on-one meeting the other editors had with her pre-primary.) As a State Senator it is inherently tricky to make an individual name for oneself and still play the game effectively; The Senate President seems to get all the press and credit, and one can argue that the more independent one is, the more likely one runs afoul of the paths to actual legislative power.
The issues that got her notoriety in the primary were the expanded wiretapping bill (which on balance I agree with), and the pension reform bill. I’m not sure what those tell us about what kind of work she’ll do in the House, should the Democrats have a chance at a majority, or even a working relationship with Republicans (a fantasy).
What do we know what to expect of Katherine Clark? What’s her issue area?
So since she’s replacing climate hero Ed Markey, I’m encouraged by this:
At her victory party Tuesday night in Stoneham, Clark acknowledged the dysfunction in the capital, but said she is determined to try to combat climate change, toughen gun laws, and fend off proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
… She points to Senator Elizabeth Warren as a model of how she hopes to operate in Congress, fighting for liberal priorities. But she said she also believes she can work with the GOP on legislation to spur private-sector investment in energy-efficient buildings.
I suppose it is too early to say that the worm is turning on Congressional intransigence on climate issues. But there is a growing sense that clean energy and efficiency is good business, something to be encouraged regardless of ideology. Witness conservative enthusiasm for solar energy in Georgia and Arizona. And companies like our own EnerNOC are treating building efficiency as an energy source in its own right — frack your own buildings before fracking the earth!
In addition to the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman bill on building efficiency, Clark might also champion Ed Markey’s legislation to encourage utilities to become more efficient.
Again, efficiency is good business, especially for Massachusetts. It would be terrific to have Ed Markey’s replacement become a partner.
What else can we expect from her?