Padilla Statement on Appointment to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement after being appointed to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over national energy policy, western water and drought, public lands, forest management and national parks, and territorial affairs, among other areas.
“I am excited to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee at this critical moment for California’s clean energy transition and drought resiliency efforts. Our state has been at the forefront of the climate crisis, facing historic drought conditions and the ongoing threat from increasingly devastating wildfires and other natural disasters. As a result, California has led the charge on bold and innovative climate solutions and disaster resiliency. In this new role, I look forward to building on the work I’ve done to make our electrical grid more reliable and better protect communities from wildfires. One of my proudest efforts during my time in the Senate has been protecting California’s treasured public lands, and I also welcome this opportunity to continue working to ensure our open spaces are preserved for future generations.
“Between my roles on this committee and as Chair of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, I am committed to using this opportunity to guarantee reliable access to clean drinking water and resilient water resources for California and for all Americans, including for Tribal, disadvantaged, and agricultural communities.”
Senator Padilla has long been a staunch advocate for expanding the use of renewable energy, lowering energy costs, and increasing water access. In 2021, the ENR Committee included significant provisions from Padilla’s POWER On Act of 2021 in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make our electrical grids more reliable and climate resilient, leading to millions of dollars to strengthen California’s energy grid. He also co-led a letter to Senate leadership urging them to help low- and moderate-income households install solar energy systems by creating a direct pay option for residential renewable energy property tax credits, and he co-sponsored the Clean Energy for All Homes Act to help families and homeowners afford renewable energy technology installations like solar roof paneling. Most recently, Padilla secured up to $1.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) hydrogen hub to produce and utilize renewable, clean hydrogen across California.
Senator Padilla has introduced legislation to restore and expand protections for over 1 million acres of California’s public lands. The PUBLIC Lands Act would increase protections for public lands throughout northwest California, the Central Coast, and Los Angeles. He has also called for the expansion of two existing monuments, the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. He is also working to advance his legislation, which was recently reported out of the ENR Committee, to create the César E. Chávez and the Farmworker Movement National Park. Padilla’s bipartisan Outdoors For All Act, which would build urban parks in a disadvantaged communities, was also recently reported out of the ENR Committee.
As Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, Padilla convened a hearing last month to examine a range of water-related challenges for tribes in the United States, including a lack of access to infrastructure, poor water quality, a shortage of operations and maintenance funding, emerging contaminants, technical assistance concerns, Tribal operator certification issues, and workforce development shortfalls. He has also introduced legislation to facilitate voluntary agricultural land repurposing to bolster California’s water supply and increase water security in the West.