A message on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 from Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network.
The Corps Network appreciates Congress’ efforts through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 to address the climate crisis, as well as rising energy prices and health care costs. As our country continues to experience hotter summers, more extreme storms, and increasingly destructive wildfires, we are relieved to see our leaders finally taking significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy. The measures in this legislation will help more Americans afford health care and sustainable energy options.
In particular, we applaud the environmental justice provisions in this bill that will help historically under-served communities build climate resilience and address pollution. A transition to a cleaner economy is critical, but it is also essential that we ensure those who have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and past disinvestments are not left behind.
Though it is reassuring to witness our country’s largest investment to date to address the climate crisis, we are disappointed this package does not include support for a Civilian Climate Corps. The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding to restore coastlines, accelerate green manufacturing, make homes more efficient, and strengthen the resilience of our infrastructure. These are laudable investments, but who will do these projects? Who will rebuild and reinforce our coasts, install resource-saving implements in homes, build green infrastructure in our cities?
The lack of funding in this legislation for green workforce development and national service is unfortunate and short-sighted. Funding for projects is important, but so is funding to engage and train people to do these projects. To stay competitive in the world, to lessen the destruction caused by climate disasters, we need to adapt. We need to build a climate-ready workforce. The Corps Network is grateful to our champions in Congress who understand this.
After months of deadlock, it is good to see progress on this legislation; we encourage Congress to move forward with passage. However, if funding for a Civilian Climate Corps cannot be included in this reconciliation package, we are eager to work with the administration and our partners in Congress to seek crucial investments to educate and train the necessary workers to build a greener future.