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Workers install solar panels

Workers install a solar panel system on the roof of a home on January 23, 2018 in Palmetto Bay, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

'A Great Step': Biden Admin Launches Clean Energy Corps

The passage of the Build Back Better Act would expand the new workforce "exponentially," said one climate action campaigner.

Julia Conley

A new program launched by the Biden administration on Friday will hire 1,000 Americans to help expand the country's clean energy infrastructure, a step the White House says is "critical to achieving the president's goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035."

Workers in the Clean Energy Corps will work in areas including engineering, physical science, legislative affairs, and contract management and will work on large-scale projects including the administration's Building a Better Grid initiative.

That project, using funds allocated by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which passed last year, will deploy new transmission lines to send solar and wind power to communities across the country and make the energy grid more "safe, reliable, and resilient" to extreme weather events.

"It's truly a remarkable time to be at the Department of Energy as we set off to implement the historic $62 billion in clean energy investments," said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. "The launch of our Clean Energy Corps is the latest definitive step along our path to making transformational changes to America's energy sector and ensuring a clean energy future for all. We're calling on people of all backgrounds and career levels who understand the urgency of tackling climate change now, and are eager to join the team that is best positioned to do so."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) called the creation of the corps "a great step" toward expanding the use of renewable energy and significantly reducing the country's carbon emissions.

The administration announced the Clean Energy Corps as negotiations over the Build Back Better Act are stalled. If passed, the legislation would invest $15 billion in a Civilian Climate Corps, which would hire 1.5 million people to help communities across the country become more resilient to the climate emergency.

The creation of the Clean Energy Corps represents the largest expansion of the DOE's workforce in nearly half a century. The department is looking to hire "first-time job seekers, executives, and everyone in between" via its new hiring portal.

The Build Back Better Act would expand on the DOE's new jobs program "exponentially," said Evan Weber, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, which has pushed for the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps.

The DOE's initiative comes on the heels of the White House's announcement this week of several plans to strengthen wind power infrastructure and review the use of public lands for clean energy.


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