Did you hear the exciting news last week?
On July 21, U.S. Senator Bob Casey introduced the “Revive the CCC Act,” which would create a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps modeled after the extremely popular Depression-era program that put three million people to work and left a profound impact on the US economy, civilian workforce, and national and state park systems.
Specifically, the bill establishes a Civilian Conservation Corps that partners with state and federal agencies, NGOs, and local partners to create on-the-ground projects that conserve and restore public lands as well as private working lands, including conservation projects on farms as well as restoration of abandoned mines and contaminated lands. The bill would also ensure that the programs create good paying jobs and job training for future employment, particularly in frontline communities.
According to a recent study from the Political Economy Research Institute, if federal funding is secured, the Civilian Conservation Corps can create over 57,000 in Pennsylvania alone.
There are billions of dollars-worth of pollution remediation and natural infrastructure projects backlogged in every county of the Commonwealth. There are over $1 billion in state park and forest infrastructure needs and over $300 million in annual water pollution projects in the Susquehanna River Basin alone. Over 40 counties are beset with old, polluting coal mine lands, abandoned oil and gas wells, thoroughfare beautification, and opportunities for new green spaces.
This bill offers a unique opportunity to invest in these projects, their surrounding communities, and its people. Reviving the CCC would not only heal our land, but also help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and invest in training to help prepare those struggling with the economic downturn for family sustaining careers.
We applaud Senator Casey’s leadership in calling for a locally-led approach and focusing on environmental justice to ensure that jobs and resources are centered where they’re most needed. We look forward to working together to make the vision of a 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps a reality.
Do your part today and thank Sen. Casey for introducing this badly-needed legislation that could have enormous impacts on Pennsylvania’s workforce, economy, and shared natural resources!