Spotlight: Eric Swalwell and the Environment
This month, we turned the spotlight toward Congressman Eric Swalwell of California’s 15th district. Congressman Swalwell has served the Bay Area since 2012, was the first in his family to go to university on a soccer scholarship, and continues to dedicate himself toward his family the United States of America. After beating a 40-year incumbent, he is now a serving member of the House of Representatives. Located in California’s East Bay and a large part of Alameda County, the 15th district has an incredibly diverse population, a center for education and business, while also being the home of the East Bay Regional Parks.
Congressman Swalwell serves on many committees, including the Homeland Security Committee -- Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, showing he is well versed in the threats our country faces. However, there are other, global threats every country faces, regardless of their level of violence. Congressman Swalwell believes the solution and our strength lies in our ability to create sustainable energy sources and making renewable resources readily available for the general population. Since a large part of California’s 15th congressional district is Silicon Valley, a well-known hub of innovation, they might be the leaders in finding such sustainable solutions and pioneering the path away from the climate crisis. Additionally, Representative Swalwell recognizes the importance of stewarding the regional parks because they are vital to the area’s tourism (an important part of the economy), and agricultural areas (mainly cattle but also crops) depend on care.
Backing and lobbying for bills is one of the most important roles of congressional representatives. As such, Representative Swalwell is an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal, also backed by many other climate-advocating representatives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY-14), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Rep. Barbra Lee (D-CA-13), and many other progressive members. Another important bill Swalwell has advocated for is the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act of 2021, largely revolving around taxation for different energy corporations and usage. The Green Transportation Act directs areas to reduce carbon emissions in transportation by tracking carbon emissions implementing local plans to get to President Biden’s goal of reducing 50% of carbon emissions by 2030. It is important to recognize that change is incredibly difficult to happen without adequate resources -- the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 pours $ 50 billion American dollars into wastewater and water quality infrastructure change within the next five years. The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act, the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, the American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act, the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act, and the Arctic Refuge Protection Act all deal with prohibiting human activity like drilling, housing developments, oil programs, and minging programs in historical landmarks or in newly protected areas. Sustainability allows communities to grow and stay successful, but it can’t be done without uplifting community members and spending time, effort and money toward actively promoting positive change. This being said, Representative Swalwell co-sponsored the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act of 2019 to secure long term benefits to fit the needs of the growing American population, economy, and climate demands. By co-sponsoring the Department of Energy National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act, the bill would pour five million American dollars into job and internship opportunities in labs revolving around energy efficient tech companies and such.
Whether or not you support Eric Swalwell, his district’s interests are placed in an efficient energy-powered future. Without the support of the policies above, the effects would be detrimental to the East Bay Regional Parks, industrial areas, and commercial Silicon Valley. Thankfully, his environmental support goes beyond locality and is seen on a national and global level.
You can visit his website to learn more here!