Apr 22, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Biden marking Earth Day with new solar funds and climate corps actions

President Biden in Pittsburgh on April 17.

President Biden in Pittsburgh on April 17. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

President Biden will travel to a national park in Virginia on Monday to mark Earth Day and spotlight new actions on his American Climate Corps jobs and training program, the White House said.

Why it matters: The visit to Prince William Forest in northern Virginia comes after the Biden administration last week announced a flurry of climate and anti-pollution actions, including barring oil drilling on roughly half of the national petroleum reserve in Alaska.

  • The visit will also kick off a week of climate-related events and actions from the White House.

Details: During the visit, Biden will announce recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Solar for All grant competition, which was included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • The program, launched last year, is meant to increase access to affordable solar energy for low-income households and could create around 200,000 jobs, according to the White House.
  • He'll also announce the launch of a website for applications for the American Climate Corps, which has attracted interest from young adults.
  • The website will initially feature nearly 2,000 positions located in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The big picture: The corps, echoing New Deal-era work programs, seeks to move young people into low-carbon energy and climate resilience jobs through a fellowship program.

  • Coinciding with Biden's visit, three states — Vermont, New Mexico, and Illinois — will also launch new state-based Climate Corps programs. So far, at least 10 other states have similar programs, according to the White House.

Worth noting: In recent weeks, the EPA has finalized rules on several different forms of pollution that advance the Biden administration's push for environmental justice.

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