Biden’s ‘Climate Corps’ Is the Wrong Way to Help the Environment

Jeff Luse wrote in National Review about Biden’s American Climate Corps.

Making good on one of his campaign promises, President Biden recently launched the American Climate Corps. Authorized through executive order, rather than Congress, the new program will recruit young Americans to plant trees, conserve public lands, and protect biodiversity. While these are laudable objectives, the private sector and existing federal, state, and local programs are already doing this work. America’s young don’t need wasteful, redundant government programs that they’ll have to pay for one day. They need fiscal responsibility and policies that support innovation and empower the market to meaningfully reduce emissions. 

The new federal jobs program is launching at a curious time, with Americans experiencing low unemployment and record high federal spending. With the U.S. national debt hitting $33 trillion in August, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded by Fitch to AA+. Federal fiscal mismanagement — from both Democrats and Republicans — has had very real consequences. Consumers are paying more for basic goods and services like food and energy; families and businesses are incurring higher borrowing costs from steeper interest rates. And Biden’s approach to policy adds fuel to the fire.

With the full cost of the American Climate Corps still to be determined, the administration has directed $150 million of existing funding to green apprenticeship programs, reforestation projects, and career-skills training through the Department of Labor, AmeriCorps, and the Department of Energy, respectively. Meanwhile, progressives in Congress have introduced legislation that would reflect the administration’s priorities and authorize $132.5 billion over five years for the program. 

The administration’s belief that more money is always the answer is emblematic of a larger problem in policy-making. A pragmatic approach that empowers the private sector and individuals, removes government barriers to conservation, and saves taxpayers money will better meet the nation’s economic and environmental needs.

Read the full article here.

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