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EPA spends millions from Biden’s COVID bill on climate change packages, EV Rideshares, ‘pruning workshops’

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FIRST ON FOX: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $4.3 million in funds from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 reduction package deal on environmental justice and climate change packages selling actions like tree planting, “pruning workshops,” and reaching “greater acceptance of trees” in cities.

Last April, the EPA introduced it was awarding $200,000 every to dozens of initiatives “focusing on COVID-19 impacts, as well as climate and disaster resiliency” in “underserved communities” by its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program. The program awarded a total of 34 organizations utilizing $4.3 million in funds from Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, in addition to $2.5 million from the EPA’s annual appropriation for environmental justice.

President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.

President Joe Biden indicators the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus reduction package deal, within the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

One Indianapolis-based group referred to as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful was awarded $200,000 for an initiative referred to as “Greening Urban Neighborhoods” which included educating residents about “the benefits of trees” and growing “acceptance of trees in the City.”

Another group, the New Mexico-based Tree New Mexico, obtained ARP funds to plant timber within the “underserved area of the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque.” That project included “pruning workshops” and offering “tree care education” with the objective of extra residents turning into “citizen tree stewards committed to caring for newly planted trees and older trees,” and to lower the “heat island effect” that happens in urbanized areas.

EPA SPENT $7M IN AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDSTO REPLACE DIESEL SCHOOL BUSES WITH ELECTRIC BUSES

The Houston-based Black United Fund of Texas obtained ARP funds by the EPA program for a project creating “a shipping container farm, residential gardens, green technology, tree and native habitat planting, workforce development, and public education.”

According to the EPA web site, the St. Paul, Minnesota-based Hourcar was additionally awarded EJCPS funds, funded by the ARP, to launch “Evie carshare, a new all-electric carsharing program featuring 150 shared electric vehicles supported by 70 curbside charging stations, with a focus on service to low-income and BIPOC communities.”

The USASpending.gov web site, which paperwork authorities spending, says that the $200,000 in ARP funds for the grant was “obligated.”

Just earlier than Democrats handed the ARP in March 2021, with none Republican assist, Biden described each allocation of funds within the laws as important. 

“We need Congress to pass my American Rescue Plan that deals with the immediate crisis — the urgency,” the president mentioned on the time. “Now, critics say my plan is too big, that it costs $1.9 trillion. So that’s too much. Well, let me ask them: What would they have me cut?  What would they have me leave out?”

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris deliver remarks about the American Rescue Plan in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris ship remarks in regards to the American Rescue Plan within the South Court Auditorium within the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on July 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Now, the ARP is going through intensifying scrutiny for its function within the present inflation disaster, which hit a whopping 8.6% final month. Some economists, together with former Obama administration financial advisers, have blamed the ARP for overheating the economic system.

“While our nation is $30 trillion in the hole and hemorrhaging money on the federal level, news like this should outrage every taxpayer,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, advised Fox News Digital in a press release. “These examples are not appropriate functions of government, and are just the tip of the iceberg. The EPA – and I would argue every agency – must be held to account for how they’re utilizing public funds.”

Fox News Digital beforehand reported that the EPA additionally used $5.25 million in ARP funds by its Environmental Justice Small Grants Program in 2021 to award grants for initiatives that had nearly little to do with addressing COVID-19 or the results of the pandemic.

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

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $4.3 million in funds from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 reduction package deal on environmental justice and climate change packages, together with “pruning workshops.”
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

One of the nonprofits that obtained a grant by that program was the Massachusetts-based group Speak for the Trees for a project using “storytelling” and “tree walks,” amongst different methods, aimed to “increase awareness and dialogue surrounding inequitable tree canopy cover and its implications on the health of residents living in [environmental justice] communities.”

Clean Air Carolina, primarily based in Charlotte, North Carolina, obtained a grant for a project to put in a public Level 2 EV charging station and to create an academic video as a means for “community members to get involved to mitigate air pollution.”

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In a press release offered to Fox News Digital Wednesday night, the EPA mentioned all functions for the EJCPS program “went through a rigorous scoring and approval process to ensure project activities and goals align with statutory authorities and the language and intent of ARP.”

“All applications selected for funding were reviewed by EPA’s Office of General Counsel,” the assertion learn. “The EJ grants program funds community-driven projects. A basic tenet of environmental justice is that communities speak for themselves and are in the best position to know how to resolve challenges that they are facing. The EJ grants program, now with almost three decades of experience at awarding effective grants to communities across the country, has a record of investing taxpayer dollars in responsible ways and in places that meet communities’ needs and support longer term goals for community revitalization.”

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