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Biden Uses Executive Authority To Roll Out Green Jobs Training Program

President Joe Biden will use executive authority to establish a green jobs training problem for young people after Congress shot down an earlier attempt to do so, the White House announced Wednesday.

The American Climate Corps (ACC) is projected to help about 20,000 people find work in climate-related fields, including facilitating pathways to working in federal civil service, according to the White House. An earlier version of Biden’s green jobs training program did not make it into what eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as congressional Republicans strongly opposed the program largely due to concerns about its potential costs, according to the Associated Press.

“The American Climate Corps will mobilize a new, diverse generation of more than 20,000 Americans – putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies and advancing environmental justice, all while creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying clean energy and climate resilience jobs in the public and private sectors after they complete their paid training program,” the White House said in the press release.

Some of the jobs that the ACC will seek to prepare young people for include building trails, planting trees and helping to install solar panels, according to the AP. The jobs training program resembles the Civilian Conservation Corps, a signature New Deal program of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

Despite the initial setback, many Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, pressed the White House to implement the ACC via executive action to demonstrate its commitment treating climate change as an emergency, according to the AP. Environmentalist groups also urged Biden to follow through with the ACC, despite its exclusion from the IRA.

The White House has not yet disclosed an estimated price tag for the program, but some Democrats in the House demanded $132 billion in funding for it in the IRA before its removal from the legislation. Biden’s initial plan allocated$10 billion for the program before it was removed from the bill.

A recent release of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that the 327,000 public jobs added for this year as of August 2023 made up about 17.4% of total jobs added to the American economy, a much higher proportion than last year’s during the same time span.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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