Biden approves $1 billion in grants to combat 'environmental injustice' with shade
The Biden Administration is allocating $1 billion in grants to address "environmental injustice" by planting trees in urban areas predominantly inhabited by minorities who have been deprived of the benefits of shade due to alleged racism. This funding is part of a $1.5 billion investment from President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, focusing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program. Advocates argue that urban tree canopies offer various benefits, including improved water quality, reduced energy consumption, lower city temperatures, decreased air pollution, increased property values, and enhanced social and educational opportunities. Some studies have also linked the distribution of trees in cities to "structural racism." The grants will support tree planting, maintenance, workforce development, and community engagement initiatives in cities like Toledo, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Houston, Texas. The initiative aims to create healthier and more equitable communities and combat climate change.