Refuting Rep. Eshoo’s Sierra Club endorsement
We are already starting to see some of the devastating effects of climate change in California with wildfires running rampant across the state. That’s why now more than ever, we need a climate-forward candidate who has a solid foundation for which we can lean on for solutions to this climate crisis. As someone who values the Sierra Club’s esteemed history and stance on climate issues, I believe that endorsing Rep. Anna Eshoo for Congress is a mistake.
Rep. Eshoo has a weak history on climate change. Much of Rep. Eshoo’s work on climate change is all talk, no action. She has condemned President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, but when you look deeper, what has she actually done to impact climate change on a national scale? In 28 years in Congress, her track record only consists of passing a bipartisan carbon pricing bill, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (using efficient technology for the federal government) in 2019 and the Electric CARS act (extending tax credits to help consumers purchase electric vehicles) in 2019; too little, too late. Co-sponsorship of the Green New Deal resolution does not mean much. What matters is what original policies did you champion. Not a whole lot.
Scientists have been warning us about the life-changing impact of climate change since the 1970s. Rep. Eshoo’s lack of meaningful action in her time as a representative is inexcusable. 100 energy companies have been responsible for 71% of all industrial emissions since human-driven climate change was officially recognized; how has Rep. Eshoo held them responsible? The answer is she hasn’t. We need to take swift, decisive action to combat the growing threat of climate change.
Rep. Eshoo has had plenty of time to take decisive action and simply hasn’t, we can’t trust her to be any different now . What makes it even difficult for Rep. Eshoo is her campaign contributions from PG&E, effectively tying her hands, instead of pushing PG&E for urgent action to upgrade their infrastructure and prevent recurring fires across California.
On the other hand I, Rishi Kumar, am committed to the Green New Deal and upending our transportation infrastructure to further cut down on gas emissions. I have already pushed many efforts to combat climate change. Real impact! I voted in favor of Building Reach Codes that were passed by the Saratoga City Council to advance the construction of healthier, safer, emissions-free buildings. I voted for the formation of Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a Community Choice Energy initiative which provides 100% clean energy to 13 Silicon Valley cities. Since 2017, SVCE has committed over $1 billion to build new renewable energy plants while saving customers more than $50 million in electricity costs. I believe in real impact — especially with Climate Change being a known ticking time bomb, something that is drastically altering people’s lives and our economy. Actions speak louder than words, and I have proven that I am ready to take action.
How about Rep. Eshoo on transportation? In California transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas pollution, accounting for about 40% of the state’s emissions. While Rep. Eshoo “plans” to address this problem by vaguely mentioning increased vehicle efficiency on her website, I have a concrete plan to reduce emissions. Rep. Eshoo’s transportation agenda does not provide any strategic vision or long term solution for over 168,000 Bay Area commuters or millions of local drivers stuck every day in Silicon Valley traffic jams. California’s housing crisis contributes to our climate crisis by forcing residents to travel farther commutes in their already inefficient cars to get to work. My plan addresses both the housing and traffic challenge. My plan to introduce a zero GHG, high speed transportation will decrease emissions by providing viable public transportation, alleviate the housing crisis and help create better access to quality jobs, all while being more convenient to our constituents! You can find specific details here.
As an environmentally based organization, why support Rep. Eshoo who has made vague promises on this increasingly important issue with no clear direction, when there is a better alternative? I urge the Sierra Club to reconsider its endorsement of Rep. Eshoo and to consider a candidate with a real plan to address our environmental issues.
Silicon Valley and America need a new way forward. I humbly request your consideration to overturn your endorsement of Rep. Eshoo and for helping me take this fight to Washington.