EPA spends millions of Biden’s COVID bill on climate change programs, EV Rideshares, and ‘pruning workshops’

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First on the fox: The Environmental Protection Agency has spent $4.3 million of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on environmental justice and climate change programs that promote activities such as tree planting and “pruning workshops” and achieve “greater acceptance of trees” in cities.

Last April, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would award $200,000 each to dozens of projects “focusing on the impacts of COVID-19, as well as climate and disaster resilience” in “disadvantaged communities” through the Environmental Justice Collaborative Agreement Program (EJCPS). . The program has received 34 organizations Using $4.3 million in funds from the Biden ARP Act, as well as $2.5 million in annual EPA appropriations for environmental sanitation.

President Joe Biden signs the US rescue plan, the coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.

President Joe Biden signs the US rescue plan, the coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

An Indianapolis-based organization called Keep Indianapolis Beautiful received a $200,000 prize for an initiative called “Greening Urban Neighborhoods” which included educating residents about the “benefits of trees” and increasing “the acceptance of trees in the city.”

Another organization, New Mexico-based Tree New Mexico, received money from the ARP program to plant trees in the “disadvantaged area of ​​the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque.” This project included “pruning workshops” and the provision of “tree care education” with the goal of more residents becoming “citizen tree-keepers committed to taking care of newly planted trees and older trees” and reducing the “heat island effect” occurring in urban areas. Regions.

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The Texas-based Black United Fund, based in Houston, received money from ARP through the EPA program to develop a “shipping container farm, residential gardens, green technology, tree planting, native habitat, workforce development, and public education.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, Hourcar in St. Paul, Minnesota has also been awarded EJCPS funds, funded by ARP, to launch “Evie carshare, a new electric car-sharing program of 150 shared electric vehicles powered by 70 curbside charging stations.”, focusing on Serving Low Income Communities and BIPOC.”

USASpending.gov, which documents government spending, says that the $200,000 in ARP funds for the grant was “committed.”

Before Democrats passed the ARP Act in March 2021, without any Republican support, Biden called every allocation of money in the legislation essential.

“We need Congress to pass my US bailout that deals with urgent crisis – urgency,” The president said at the time. “Now, critics say my plan is too big, $1.9 trillion. That’s too much. Well, let me ask them: What would they cut? What would they want me to leave?”

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deliver remarks on the US bailout in the Southern Courtroom of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deliver remarks on the US bailout in the Southern Courtroom of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Chip Somophila/Getty Images)

Now, ARP is facing intense scrutiny for its role in the current inflation crisis, which reached 8.6% last month. some economists, Including former Obama administration economic advisorshe blamed the ARP for the overheating of the economy.

“While our nation has $30 trillion in the hole and is bleeding money at the federal level, news like this should anger every taxpayer,” Representative Ralph Norman, who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told Fox. Digital News in a statement. “These examples are not proper jobs for government, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. The Environmental Protection Agency—and I would argue every agency—should be held accountable for how it uses public funds.”

Fox News Digital previously reported that The EPA also used $5.25 million in ARP money Through the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program in 2021 to award grants to projects that have little to do with tackling COVID-19 or the effects of the pandemic.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent $4.3 million of President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on environmental justice and climate change programs, including

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent $4.3 million of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on environmental justice and climate change programs, including “pruning workshops.”
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

One nonprofit that received a grant through this program was the Massachusetts-based Speak for the Trees for a project that uses “storytelling” and “tree walking,” among other techniques, aimed at “raising awareness and dialogue about non-canopy tree canopy cover.” equilibrium and its implications for the health of the population living in it [environmental justice] Communities.”

Clean Air Carolina, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has received a grant for a project to install a public Level 2 EV charging station and to create an educational video as a way for “community members to participate in mitigating air pollution.”

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In a statement submitted to Fox News Digital on Wednesday evening, the EPA said all EJCPS applications have “passed a rigorous registration and evaluation process to ensure project activities and objectives align with legal authorities, the language and intent of ARP.”

“All applications selected for funding have been reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency,” the statement read. “The EJ Grant Program funds community-led projects. One of the core principles of Environmental Justice is that communities speak for themselves and are in the best position to learn how to solve the challenges they face. The EJ Scholarship Program, now with nearly three decades of experience providing effective grants to communities, across the country, and has a track record of investing taxpayer money in responsible ways and in places that meet the needs of communities and support the long-term goals of community revitalization.”