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April 22nd, 2015
A variety of statistics have been used to analyze California’s drought, but perhaps the most jaw dropping number reported in recent weeks comes from the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California. According to their estimates, more water was used to grow almonds in 2013 than was used by all homes and businesses in San Francisco and Los Angeles combined. That’s one gallon of water for every almond grown in California, and the majority of them are exported overseas.
It’s easy to point fingers at agriculture producers in the Central Valley for being the culprits of our water shortage with these statistics. They certainly play a role, but the severity of our unprecedented drought stems from a much broader problem: climate change. Warming temperatures, primarily due to carbon emissions, have led to less snowpack and more water evaporation in reservoirs, worsening our drought conditions and painting a stark picture for future droughts.
So as we approach the summer months and face the worst water shortage in our state’s history, we should be asking ourselves as a nation if we have fully recognized that carbon emissions, not just water consumption, are harming the planet…and what actions are we taking to stall or reverse the warming trends?
I’ve been working hard to do my part in Congress, advocating for national policies that curtail our carbon emissions and encourage the use of energy efficient technologies and renewable energy resources across the board. And while these efforts are not exhaustive, they represent substantial steps in the right direction:
The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act will save the federal government energy and money by requiring the use of energy efficient and energy saving technologies, specifically in federal data centers. Today the world generates more data in 12 hours than was generated in all of human history prior to 2003. When this bill passed the House by a nearly unanimous vote last year, that statistic was for every two days. Ten exabytes of data per day travel our global networks and this rate is growing rapidly. This data must be stored and processed at vast data centers which can be highly energy inefficient, wasting money and precious energy resources. As the nation’s largest landowner, employer, and energy user, my legislation would make the federal government a leader in improving the energy efficiency of its data centers.
As we celebrate Earth Day 2015 on April 22nd, the forward-thinking ideas of its founders—activists John McConnell and Denis Hayes, along with former Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) and Congressman Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.)—live on. The words of John McConnell remain especially prescient. “The world of tomorrow is not foreordained to be either good or bad…rather it will be what we make it,” he said. On this Earth Day, let’s renew our commitments of shared responsibility and collective action to make the changes that will indeed create a world of tomorrow that honors the earth by safeguarding it.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
In this section, you will find information on the many ways my office can help you and your family. Below is a list of the issues we commonly address. If you cannot find what you're looking for, please either email me or call my Palo Alto District Office and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.