Inspired by the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, the program put young people to work to help protect communities from harm. climate disasters.
WASHINGTON - Democrats aim to pour tens of billions of dollars into program New Deal style that would hire young people to work on projects to protect communities and the environment from disasters that are becoming increasingly destructive due to climate change.
The dynThe friendship of a civilian body for the climate has continued to grow since President Biden called for its creation in March. While the program does not directly reduce greenhouse gases that warm the planet, it is a top priority for environmentalists as part of a 3,500 expenditure bill billion dollars Democrats hope to pass this fall.
Republicans have denounced the program as a boondoggle that would create eco-vigilants who, like the 'recently warned a lawmaker, "will denounce who waters their lawns, whose chimneys smoke ".
But the biggest obstacle may be Democrats themselves- same, who mustcore to agree on how to design a climate body.
Liberal lawmakers aligned with leading environmental groups say they want about $ 30 billion - three times the amount Mr Biden suggested funding the program under the AmeriCorps umbrella. Sometimes referred to as the National Peace Corps, AmeriCorps is a federally funded national service program that its supporters say could easily expand to support climate-focused work.
But in recent weeks, several top House Democrats have challenged the plan, arguing that billions of dollars should not be rushed to an agency that would grapple overnight with the recruitment and training of thousands of workers in clean energy and climate projects.
"Ithink everyone wants to help the climate, "said Representative Robert C. " Bobby "Scott of Virginia, who heads the House committee on education and work that will oversee the creation of the body But he said, "If the goal is workforce development, I think we have more efficient ways of doing it.
He and others have instead advocated the expansion of the existing apprenticeship and vocational training programs through the Ministry of Labor and other agencies. Discussion is expected to culminate on Thursday when Mr. Scott's committee debates the working elements of the $ 3.5 trillion budget.
The Civilian Climate Corps is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s which put in 3 million men - these were explicitly single men between the ages of 18 and 25, and principallypale white men - to work building trails and campgrounds, fighting forest fires, planting trees and building dams across the country.
Supporters of the redesigned corps have stated that they intend to ensure that divers between workers and managers, as well as an hourly wage of $ 15 and health care benefits. They envision climate body workers installing solar panels, tampering with buildings, and providing water and other supplies during heat waves and storms.
Federally-funded body members could turn local efforts into tackling climate change, said Tonya Gayle, executive director of Green City Force, a New York-based nonprofit group that prepares the youthwho live in social housing in technical careers such as solar and wind generation, energy efficiency and urban agriculture.
"The inhabitants communities know what is best in terms of solutions, ”said Ms. Gayle. "National service in a civilian climate body is a powerful thing," she said, adding that local voices need to be part of the larger national conversation on climate change.
Low-income communities and people of color tend to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to historical injustices . In recognition of this fact, the legislation introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Representative AlexandNew York's ria Ocasio-Cortez, both Democrats, would demand that at least half of the members of a climate body come from "underfunded communities in need." . "Additionally, at least half of the investment would support projects in underserved communities, with at least 10% spent in Native American lands .
Their Bill, which has the backing of major environmental groups like the Sunrise movement, would create the climate body as part of AmeriCorps.
" Tens of thousands of young people will work for the sustainability of our country, "said Mr. Markey. Five years from now, he added, a Civilian Climate Corps "will be part of the nation's personality when it comes to how a whole new generation perceives key change.imatic. "
This worries some Republicans.
" What is this does it mean exactly? ”Representative Tom McClintock from California asked in a recent hearing. "Does this mean a community organizing effort funded by taxpayers?" Young climate pioneers in every neighborhood to signal who waters their lawns, whose chimneys smoke, who spreads forbidden climate disinformation? "
Others noted that President Franklin The Delano Roosevelt Conservation Corps was established when the United States suffered from a 20% unemployment rate. This is not the current situation, where the national unemployment rate was 5.2% in August and many companies are struggling to find workers.
Representative Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, the highest Le Republican CommitteeNatural Resources Chamber called the Civilian Climate Corps a "job creation agenda" that "will compete with US businesses at a time when 'help wanted' signs are hanging around the corner.
Ultimately, however, the Republicans are not in a position to sway the package since the party has already signaled that members are would unanimously oppose the larger $ 3.5 trillion budget bill. The fate of the program depends on Democrats and their ability to reach a deal, climate body supporters have said.
Collin O 'Mara, the chairman of the National Wildlife Foundation said it is optimistic that if Democrats pass the spending bill, it will include a new Civil Corps Climate.
" Whenever you negotiate on how to do it plAs soon as the opportunity to do so, you are in a fairly good position. And we are negotiating on how, "he said.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who introduced legislation to create a new climate and conservation body every year since 2008, said she wanted to recreate the experience the government gave her father. As a young man in the 1930s, Joseph Kaptur, the youngest of 16, worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps helping to drain the Erie Canal and build roads.
" It was limited money, but he could put food on the table, "Ms. Kaptur said. The Roosevelt era corps members, she added, "were proud of what they did, and they were proud to be building America." This generation needs this experience. "