Energy & Environment

Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps program: exclusive

A progressive environmental group plans to focus its advocacy around President Biden’s proposal to create conservation and reforestation jobs, according to a strategy memo obtained by The Hill. 

The youth-led Sunrise Movement will be pushing for a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) — similar to the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps — which Biden backs. But the group says the $10 billion investment the president wants to make is not enough.

“As currently proposed, Biden’s Civilian Climate Corps is insufficient compared to the scale of the climate and jobs crises we face,” the memo said. “Our movement is fighting for a CCC that meets the moment and creates 1.5 million jobs over five years and trains a new workforce for long term careers in good, union jobs stopping the climate crisis.”

Sunrise Movement is pushing for a version of the program that was introduced in a bill by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that would put more than $100 billion into the program over five years.

The group said that it plans to organize on Capitol Hill alongside the two lawmakers and other “champions” to fight for “robust funding and passage of the CCC.”

In addition, it plans to launch digital campaigns, marches and actions targeted at Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as well as Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who chair their chambers’ committees that deal with labor issues.

“By prioritizing this fight above everything else Sunrise is doing in the next month, we can win a bigger Civilian Climate Corps and ensure the American Jobs Plan that passes is the strongest legislation possible to lay the groundwork for the decade of the Green New Deal,” the memo concludes. 

Biden has pitched his investment in the program as part of his infrastructure package, which is undergoing negotiations with Republicans. 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bobby Scott Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Civilian Climate Corps Civilian Conservation Corps Ed Markey Green New Deal Joe Biden Patty Murray Sunrise Movement
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