ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta Now News at 10) — The sweltering heat is a struggle for many on two fronts: how to stay cool and how to pay the bill, but a new presidential executive order promises to provide relief.
The pandemic and inflation are already beating down on Metro Atlantans, and now they’re facing the blow of extreme heat, which is hitting communities of color, low-income families and senior citizens the hardest.READ MORE: Toyota Is Offering To Buy Back An Electric SUV Because Its Wheels Could Fall Off
“It’s not fair. They paid their dues. They’ve lived a long life. They need help,” said Michael Kouassi, a resident.
More neighbors said they can relate to the struggle. “The cost of living is too high and then it’s hot,” said Jaylen Bynum.
President Joe Biden blames climate change, and on Wednesday, he took executive action. “I am making the largest investment ever: $2.3 billion to help communities across the country build infrastructure that’s designed to withstand the full range of disasters we’ve been seeing up to today,” Biden said. “For the first time, states will be able to use federal funds to pay for air conditioners in homes, set up community cooling centers in schools where people can get through these extreme heat crises,” he added.
That money will be distributed locally through the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.READ MORE: The House Passes Democrats' Health Care And Climate Bill, Clearing Measure For Biden's Signature
“I feel like, if he’s gonna help out, then he should, and we should be able to have access to those funds,” said Roesha Ross, another resident.
To summarize, Biden says the federal government is investing more than $2 billion to protect communities from extreme heat, over $3 billion to weatherize homes and lower energy costs and nearly $400 million to pay for air conditioners in homes.
Critics say Biden only highlighted the need for climate change, while stopping short of declaring a climate emergency. Atlantans say lower energy costs are a step in the right direction, but they’re also cautiously optimistic.
“Words are one thing. Action is another. When we see those goods come through, then I’ll believe what we hear,” Cole Welp, also a resident.MORE NEWS: FBI Is Investigating 'Unprecedented' Number Of Threats Against Bureau In Wake Of Mar-A-Lago Search
Biden says he’ll announce more executive actions in the coming weeks. For information on energy assistance in Georgia, click here.