Earth Day: Biden announces $7B in solar energy grants, 2,000 Climate Corps jobs – UPI News

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April 22 (UPI) — President Joe Biden on Monday announced $7 billion in federal grants to supply more than 900,000 low- and moderate-income homes with residential solar power, while declaring that Americans can now apply to become the first members of the nation’s climate corps that will work to tackle the climate crisis.

An aviator sunglassed Biden made the announcement against the lush green of Prince William Forest Park in Virginia as he marked Earth Day, describing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All project as an effort to reduce energy costs for low- and moderate-income families while cutting 5 million metric tons of carbon pollution. It will also create 200,000 good-paying, union jobs over the next five years, he said.


“Folks, Solar for All will give use more breathing room and cleaner breathing room,” he said.

The $7 billion for the program comes from Biden’s Inflation Reduce Act, which he signed in August 2022. The EPA said in a statement that the money will fund 60 grants awarded to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities and nonprofits across the country to develop and deploy solar panel programs for residents.

According to the White House, the program aims to save households about $400 annually for a cumulative savings of more than $350 million, while preventing more than 30 million metric tons entering the atmosphere over the next three decades.

Biden also announced that as of Monday, Americans across the country can apply to become the first 2,000 members of the American Climate Corps in 36 states, starting with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“You’ll get paid to fight climate change, learning how to install those solar panels, fight wildfires, rebuild wetlands, weatherize homes and so much more that’s going to protect the environment and build a clean energy economy,” Biden said.


The 2,000 jobs are the first of what is expected to be about 20,000 position that will be available for young people to get involved in conservation, renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure to address climate change, the corps’ website said, which is where Americans can now apply for work.

Biden said when one finishes their service in the climate corps, they’ will be eligible for a streamlined path to federal government work related to climate and clean energy.

As part of the plan, the government has partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to put American Climate Corps members in former coal mining and power plant communities, which have been struggling under the evolving energy economy.

“Fenceline communities are the ones we have to help first, because they’ve been taking the brunt of all this,” he said.

Biden also took the opportunity Monday to chastise Republicans who seek to repeal his Inflation Reduction Act and deny the impacts of climate on the United states.

“They want to take us backwards, sideline our workers, let China and others lead the race for clean energy,” he said. “I’m determined — absolutely determined — that we move forward.”

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