Biden Admin Doles Out $600 Million To Activist Groups, Universities For ‘Environmental Justice’

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The Biden administration is shelling out $600 million in taxpayer funds to grantmaking organizations to distribute for “environmental justice” projects all across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday.

The funds will go to 11 different organizations, which include universities and left-wing groups that focus on advancing social justice causes in addition to their environmental advocacy, according to the EPA’s announcement. Each of the recipients will in turn use the money to provide sub-grants to local organizations to pursue thousands of “environmental justice” projects like environmental jobs training programs and “healthy homes” initiatives.

“Every person has a right to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and live in a community that is healthy and safe,” Vice President Kamala Harris said of the funding. “For too long, however, low-income communities, immigrant communities, Native communities, and communities of color have endured disproportionate levels of air, water, and soil pollution. That is why President Joe Biden and I have put equity at the center of our nation’s largest investment in climate in history. Today’s announcement puts that commitment into action by ensuring critical resources to fund environmental justice projects across the country reach the organizations that know their communities best.” (RELATED: Biden’s EPA Chief Says ‘Environmental Justice’ Is In Agency’s ‘DNA’)

The funding comes from the EPA’s Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program, which was established by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill, according to the EPA. The $600 million announced on Wednesday is part of a larger $3 billion spending blitz in support of “environmental justice” made possible by provisions in the IRA.

Most of the recipients will do their work regionally, but several of the grantees are expected to operate on a national scale, according to the EPA. Some of the grantees are universities, such as Fordham University and Texas Southern University, while others, like the Climate Justice Alliance and the Minneapolis Foundation, are left-wing groups that advocate or facilitate activism for a host of progressive causes in addition to climate advocacy.

In addition to supporting environmental activism, the Minneapolis Foundation, which is poised to receive $50 million from the EPA, provides “racial and economic justice grants” to groups that advance “structural and systems change through policy advocacy, organizing and movement building,” for example.

The Climate Justice Alliance, one of the EPA’s national recipients set to reap $50 million, has repeatedly supported the Palestinian cause amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, describing the status of the Palestinians as a “climate justice issue” and protesting on behalf of Palestine at COP28, the United Nations’ recently concluded climate summit. The group describes itself as a leader in the movement against “extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies,” advocating for an economic and energy transition that would “place race, gender and class at the center of the solutions equation.”

The group has also spread misinformation about the death of a queer and gender non-binary activist near Atlanta, Georgia. Manuel Terán, known more widely by the nickname “Tortuguita,” opened fire on a law enforcement officer responding to unrest near the site of the “Cop City” training center in January; the officer returned fire, killing Tortuguita in the process, according to a sweeping racketeering indictment unveiled in September in Fulton County, Georgia. As recently as March, Climate Justice Alliance misleadingly asserted that “Tortuguita” was a victim of a “political assassination” carried out by the police.

The Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a regionally focused grantee set to receive $50 million from the EPA, functions as an incubator for left-of-center activist organizations, according to its website. Beyond environmental activism, the group has also facilitated activist organizations that aspire to replace “systems of incarceration and policing” and boost “voter turnout by supporting frontline voting rights organizations that mobilize communities of color, first-time voters, new Americans, youth, rural communities, returning citizens and other historically disadvantaged communities,” for example.

“No matter if they are dubbed grantmakers or climate corps, the mission is the same: use taxpayer dollars to build networks of political support,” Daniel Turner, executive director and founder of Power the Future, said of the funding’s announcement. “And while Biden sends $600 million to his eco-friends, energy workers are stalled by Washington while families pay more for everything.”

The White House, the EPA, Climate Justice Alliance and the Minneapolis Foundation all did not respond immediately to requests for comment. The Daily Caller News Foundation sought comment from Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, but the organization’s offices are closed for the holidays.

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