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Biden wants $8 billion for Climate Corps

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Mar 11, 2024
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, talk about the Climate Corps last September. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's new budget proposes to spend billions on expanding the American Climate Corps.

Why it matters: The proposal follows a pledge that Biden made to expand the corps — which would train students for clean-energy jobs — during last week's State of the Union.

  • It could help bolster support with progressive enviros ahead of the election.

Zoom in: The budget spells out $8 billion in spending over the next decade to build the Climate Corps workforce by an additional 50,000 people per year by 2031.

  • Biden first announced the program — an idea that's been floating around progressive circles for years — in 2023.
  • "We've been advocating for the highest possible numbers," Sen. Ed Markey told reporters last week.

A few other items from the budget request you might want to know about:

  • One ask is for $1 billion to support "environmental review and permitting processes that are effective, efficient, and transparent."
  • It proposes to more than double NOAA's budget for offshore wind permitting activities to $53 million.
  • There's a $3 billion request for the president's international climate finance plan and a $500 million contribution to the Green Climate Fund.
  • The administration is seeking ​​$2.1 billion for weather satellites, a more than $400 million increase over enacted levels, per the budget materials.
  • And there's an ask for $455 million to DOE to research AI products for defense purposes, as well as "energy security" and "climate resilience."

Reality check: Right now none of this has much chance of becoming law — but it offers tea leaves on what a second Biden term would mean for policy.

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