Energy & Environment

We have a responsibility to ensure that this country is preparing for a safe, reliable and secure energy future. Overreliance on a limited range of fuel technologies, foreign sources of energy, and finite resources is unreasonable. We cannot drill our way out of our energy problems; we only have two percent of the world’s proven oil reserves but we use about 20 percent of the world’s oil.

Our strength will lie in our ability to transition to new, cleaner, more sustainable resources. And we must recognize the impact that our energy choices have on public health and the global environment, now and far into the future.

I am working to encourage innovation in the field of renewable energy and energy conservation. Addressing the climate crisis is imperative for our national security, the ecosystems that feed us, our public health and safety, and our future economic well-being.

We also must work hard to protect our environment and be good stewards of our land, air, and water; I help protect our environment close to home as an advisory member of the Tri-Valley Conservancy.

What I am Doing for You

I'm an original cosponsor of H.Res. 332, a “Green New Deal” nonbinding resolution that envisions a 10-year national mobilization akin to FDR’s New Deal that would put millions to work in good-paying, union jobs repairing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing air and water pollution, and fighting the intertwined economic, social, racial and climate crises crippling the country.  

I cosponsored H.R. 848, the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act of 2021, a comprehensive use of the tax code to combat the threat of climate change. The bill builds on current successful tax incentives that promote the deployment of green energy technologies, while providing new incentives for activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; encourages residential investments in green energy and energy efficiency; expands incentives for energy efficiency and conservation in homes and buildings, with updated standards; supports widespread adoption of zero-emission cars, vans, and buses through tax credits for purchasing vehicles, and supporting deployment of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure; invests in the green workforce by providing tax credits for advanced manufacturing facilities and mechanical insulation installations; advances environmental justice using tax credits for research and other academic programs; and prices greenhouse gas emissions.

I cosponsored H.R. 3097, the Green Transportation Act, to direct cities and states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. This sector represents the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, which makes tracking and reducing those emissions an urgent priority in mitigating the climate crisis. Because many parts of the country are not accounting for transportation emissions, this represents an important step in working to reduce pollution by mandating the tracking of emissions and creation of local implementation plans. The bill would help deliver President Biden’s goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030.

I cosponsored H.R. 1915, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill to authorize $50 billion in direct infrastructure investment over the next five years to address America’s crumbling wastewater infrastructure and local water quality challenges. The bill would also significantly increase the amount of Federal assistance made available to States and communities through the successful Clean Water State Revolving Fund program—the primary source of Federal assistance for wastewater infrastructure construction—which has not been reauthorized by Congress since 1987.

I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3116, the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act, a bipartisan bill  to prohibit the U.S. Department of Interior from issuing leases for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas along the Atlantic Coast, including the North, Mid-, and South Atlantic and Straits of Florida planning areas.

I cosponsored H.R. 653, the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, to permanently ban oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington.

I cosponsored H.R. 3053, the American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act, to prohibit any new leasing for the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas along the Southern California coast, from San Diego to the northern border of San Luis Obispo County.  (I cosponsored similar legislation - H.R. 279, the California Clean Coast Act of 2019 - in the 116th Congress.)

I cosponsored H.R. 815, the Arctic Refuge Protection Act, to repeals the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge oil and gas program and to designate approximately 1,559,538 acres of land within Alaska in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

I cosponsored H.R. 1788, the Clean Energy Hydrogen Innovation Act, to expand the definition of eligible hydrogen projects under the Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee office.

I voted for H.R. 803, the Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act, which passed the House. This legislation is a package of eight bills that all received bipartisan votes of support in the House during the 116th Congress and were originally reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill designates approximately 1.5 million acres of public land as wilderness, protects more than 1.2 million acres of public land from new oil and gas and mining claims, ensuring that iconic landscapes like the Grand Canyon and Colorado’s Thompson Divide are permanently protected from the irreversible threats posed by extraction,  and incorporates more than 1,200 river miles into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

 

In the 116th Congress:

My colleagues and I passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act of which I was a cosponsor. This legislation would have prevented the use of federal funds in withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accords and would require the president to annually publish the Administration’s plan to meet the standards agreed to under the Accords. Despite the former president’s repeated efforts to restrict public awareness of the climate crisis, we must be vigilant and fully transparent about our level of preparation for an uncertain future.

I introduced H.R. 4481, the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act of 2019, to help the United States develop the technical expertise and production capabilities to assure a long-term, secure and sustainable supply of energy critical elements (ECEs). If we want to keep leading the world in technological advancement and create more American jobs, we must secure these energy critical elements and their production. My bill’s concept was incorporated into H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy and Jobs and Innovation Act, a bigger package of clean energy and energy innovation initiatives put together by the committees on Energy and Commerce; Science, Space, and Technology; and Natural Resources. The House passed H.R. 4447 in September 2020.

I cosponsored H.R. 3135, the Department of Energy National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act, a bipartisan bill to provide $5 million over five years to support apprenticeships in partnership with national laboratories.

To combat the ecological destruction close to home, I cosponsored H.R. 1132, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Act, which would authorize $25 million over five years for wetlands restoration and conservation in the Bay Area. (I also co-sponsored this as H.R. 843 in the 113th Congress.)

In earlier Congresses:

I cosponsored the bipartisan Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, a bipartisan bill providing policy direction to the Department of Energy (DOE) on basic science research, nuclear energy research and development (R&D), research coordination and priorities, and reforms to streamline national lab management.

I pushed to protect clean air and water by co-sponsoring the Land and Water Conservation Fund Reauthorization and Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

I have led two letters to Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry in support of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratories as potential candidates for the Department of Energy’s new Energy-Water Desalination Hub. The eventual team chosen as the Hub will research improvements to desalination technology and increase energy efficiency, continuing our community’s legacy of leadership in sustainable infrastructure.

More on Energy & Environment

September 24, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) on Thursday held the inaugural event of their new bipartisan Congressional Critical Materials Caucus, with three experts discussing how America can assure a long-term, secure, and sustainable supply of energy critical materials (ECMs).

The event coincided with a floor vote on legislation to help achieve these goals, which Rep. Swalwell has carried in every Congress since 2013. The legislation passed on a 220-185 vote, and now goes to the Senate.

September 24, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) introduced the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act to help the United States develop the technical expertise and production capabilities to assure a long-term, secure and sustainable supply of energy critical elements (ECEs).

March 21, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) led 109 of his House colleagues in opposing President Trump’s proposal to cut America’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy by two thirds.