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

June 15, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) introduced new legislation to drive federal investment at the Salton Sea. H.R. 3877, the Salton Sea Projects Improvements Act, would significantly expand the ability of the Bureau of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior (Reclamation) to partner with state, local, and Tribal governments, as well as other entities to address the public health and environmental crisis at the Salton Sea.  

June 4, 2021 In The News

The state Senate and Assembly budget committees have agreed to include $30 million in their 2021-22 budget proposal to build new housing for residents of the troubled Oasis Mobile Home Park in Thermal. The funds were requested by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella. 

The park, located on Torres Martinez tribal land, and home to over 1,000 people, has been cited repeatedly by the EPA for arsenic in its water. Residents also have complained about overflowing trash and lack of maintenance on the aging mobile homes.  

May 26, 2021 In The News

Across the vast expanse of the Salton Sea there is white gold in those waters deep below the ground, the Salton Sea has been called the lithium valley, for good reason. 

The waters of the lake run along what is called "the ring of fire", a horseshoe of high volcanic activity, where geothermal movement will be seen, lithium is a by-product of the geothermal energy process - 

May 20, 2021 In The News

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, introduced legislation Wednesday that would alter the way the federal government enforces clean drinking water requirements in the wake of a lengthy battle with the owner of a mobile home park near Thermal where federal authorities have detected dangerous levels of arsenic in the water system. 

May 19, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) introduced H.R. 3286, the Emergency Order Assurance, Safety, and Inspection of water Systems (Emergency OASIS Act), which would strengthen the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect communities from drinking water contamination and help ensure that residents have access to clean drinking water while their systems are being repaired.  

May 19, 2021 In The News

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. tells News Channel 3 exclusively that his office has sent letters to Fish and Wildlife Service and Imperial Irrigation District in regards to the Red Hill Bay Project at the Salton Sea. 

The joint effort between IID and FWS broke ground in 2015, but has yet to be completed. 

It was designed to create over 600 acres of shallow saline ponds by mixing water from the Salton Sea and the Alamo River. These new ponds would faciliate a new habitat for birds, while also preventing dust from emerging into the air. 

May 14, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) led a meeting with Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg to discuss the American Jobs Plan and equity in transportation. Dr. Ruiz is Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and released the following statement after this week’s meeting.

May 6, 2021 In The News

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz met with Department of Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm earlier this week to chart a path forward to develop the lithium deposits underneath the Salton Sea and help create clean energy jobs for the community.

The DOE is working to support American researchers who are developing the technologies to extract lithium from the geothermal brine. This is currently used for power production near the Salton Sea.

May 5, 2021 Press Release

Palm Desert, CA – This week, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) met with Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to chart a path forward to develop the lithium deposits underneath the Salton Sea to make Riverside and Imperial Counties global leaders in clean-energy battery technology. The Department of Energy supports American researchers who are developing the technologies to extract lithium from the geothermal brine that is currently used for power production near the Salton Sea.

April 19, 2021 In The News

Rep Raul Ruiz (D-CA) is joining Senator Cory Booker (D-NY) to fight environmental injustices with a new piece of legislation that would require federal agencies to consider and mitigate environmental stressors that, by their own doing, impact the health and agency of those affected. 

Led by Ruiz in Congress, the Environmental Justice Act of 2021 would make agencies consider the effects of cumulative impacts on communities during key decisions. Booker leads the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.