Energy and Environment

The 36th District is home to a rich diversity of natural resources and iconic public lands.  Our district is also leading the way in clean, renewable energy industries such as wind, solar, and geothermal. Investing in renewable energy is an important part of fulfilling our obligation as stewards of the environment, and it will also help create clean energy jobs in our communities and strengthen the local economy.

The United States needs a national energy policy that will help our nation achieve energy independence and create clean energy jobs right here at home. Advanced clean energy technology holds tremendous economic potential for the 36th District. We need a comprehensive national energy policy that will invest in clean energy and put us on the path to energy independence. This is an environmental, economic, and national security issue.

In Congress, I am a member of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency caucus. In addition, I have supported the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and worked to strengthen America’s energy independence through cooperative agreements between the private and public sector. In 2013, I joined 75 of my colleagues urging support for the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to spur innovation in renewable electricity generation, sustainable transportation, and energy and cost-saving technologies for businesses and homes.

One of the most important environmental issues facing the 36th District is the Salton Sea.  For far too long, the Salton Sea has posed immense health risks to the families and children in the 36th District and across Southern California.

As an Emergency Room doctor, I know the dangers that the dying Sea poses to our local communities, especially our young children. Pediatric asthma rates in our region are already among some of the highest in the nation, due in large part to the dust beds that form as the Salton Sea continues to dry up.

These health problems will only get worse unless we take aggressive steps to restore the Salton Sea. The consequences will be catastrophic if we fail to act. We must work together on the federal, state, and local level, and through public-private partnerships to prevent the Sea from becoming a public health catastrophe. I have been actively working with local stakeholders, the state of California, the President’s Administration, and my colleagues in Congress to take action on this issue and meet this crisis head on as a community. 

More on Energy and Environment

July 31, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – This week, the House of Representatives passed two important bills that contain provisions written by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. that will strengthen the federal, state, and local partnership to mitigate the impending public health crisis at the Salton Sea.

July 30, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. advocated for improved drinking water standards to protect underserved communities like the Oasis Mobile Home Park in Thermal, California. Dr. Ruiz, who is also Vice-Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, called for reforms to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to make clean drinking water more accessible and affordable during today’s hearing entitled, “There's Something in the Water: Reforming Our Nation's Drinking Water Standards."

July 1, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2 the Moving Forward Act – an infrastructure package focused on creating millions of American jobs, combatting the climate crisis, and addressing disparities throughout America. Included in H.R. 2 were several of Congressman Raul Ruiz’s legislative priorities, including an investigation into heat related illness in school buses without air conditioning, the Tribal Internet Expansion Act, and a bill to improve the Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center.

June 29, 2020 Press Release

Banning, CA – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) secured federal funding from the Bureau of Reclamation to modernize water infrastructure and improve access to clean water for Banning residents. The award benefits the City of Banning’s Pressure Zone Separation and Water Loss Reduction Project, which will help save more than 100 acre-feet of water per year and decrease water losses by 47 percent.

May 27, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release important data on air quality monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining a bicameral letter pointing to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities experiencing environmental injustices, Rep. Ruiz, and other members of the House and Senate, called for the release of key data to help the public understand the public health risks certain communities face. Dr.

May 12, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – As Congress considers additional funding to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, members of the House and Senate have introduced legislation seeking to address the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has on communities experiencing environmental injustices. Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) introduced H.R.6692, the Environmental Justice COVID-19 Act, alongside Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA).

February 25, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) and the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District (BCVWD) announced a $1.5 million Bureau of Reclamation grant award that will go toward water conservation efforts. The announcement comes after Dr. Ruiz advocated for the BCVWD’s application for a WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency grant in a letter to Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman in September. The project will help increase water conservation and reduce water costs for residents in Beaumont, Cherry Valley, and parts of Calimesa.

February 7, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) introduced Agua Caliente Chairman Jeff Grubbe this week before the House Natural Resources Committee during a legislative hearing on two bills introduced by Dr. Ruiz.

October 16, 2019 Press Release

Thermal, Ca. – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. announced the pending closure of Sun Valley Recycling Center, the facility at the center of recurring mulch fires that are posing a public health hazard to nearby schools and the surrounding community. The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a Cease and Desist order to the facility Wednesday morning stating that if the dumping operations are not immediately halted, the owner will face an injunction and be held liable for damages and all costs associated with enforcement action.

September 18, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representative Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Palm Desert) continues to sound the alarm that federal agencies must be held accountable for and fully engage on the imminent public health crisis at the Salton Sea. Dr. Ruiz and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Imperial) sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources requesting a Congressional hearing on the federal responsibility for managing and mitigating the declining water levels and dust exposure at the Salton Sea.