On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) to combat climate change. The EO officially began research into the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps.
The Corps “shall aim to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate.”
In 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt created a similar program called the Civilian Conservation Corps. They cut trails, built roads, and solidified infrastructure, and had about 500,000 annual members at its height.
The CCC lasted until 1942, built 100,000 miles of roads and trails, 318,000 dams, and tens of thousands of bridges, and employed over 3 million citizens over its lifetime. Since then, there have been various smaller decentralized programs like the Corps Network and AmeriCorps, all which received some federal funding, but nothing at the scale of the CCC. President Obama tried to expand AmeriCorps to 100,000 members, but ultimately failed, and its membership was about 75,000.
In Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, he calls for hiring 300,000 Americans at a cost of anywhere from $10 to $30 billion for his Climate Corps, at a cost of between $40,000 to $70,000 per member.
That’s low for some Congressional Democrats. Sen. Ed Markey and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez have introduced the Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act, asking for $132 billion for a corps of 1.5 million members.
The CCC is currently in Biden’s Build Back Better proposal that passed the House of Representatives on November 19, 2021, and includes about $7 billion for staffing the CCC.
The bill stalled in the Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin announced he wouldn’t vote for it, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to call a vote on it again.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.