Create a GreenCorps to Spur Conservation

GreenCorps Will Do for Obama What the Peace Corps Did for John F. Kennedy

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FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2006 file photo, a wind turbine stands, generating power next to Hull, Mass., High School in the shadow of Boston. Establishing a New England market to buy renewable energy seemed a laudable goal when governors committed last year to bulk purchases of wind and solar power to cut the price of alternative energy while reducing the region’s reliance on fossil fuels. But putting together details about what the six states will buy is snared in a patchwork of rules, state laws and disagreements among the states over how to even define alternative energy. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2006 file photo, a wind turbine stands, generating power next to Hull, Mass., High School in the shadow of Boston. Establishing a New England market to buy renewable energy seemed a laudable goal when governors committed last year to bulk purchases of wind and solar power to cut the price of alternative energy while reducing the region’s reliance on fossil fuels. But putting together details about what the six states will buy is snared in a patchwork of rules, state laws and disagreements among the states over how to even define alternative energy. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

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COMMENTARY | Does President Barack Obama operate on our national fiscal debts with a surgeon's scalpel or Paul Bunyan's ax?

Kay Steiger wrote at RawStory.com on July 20, 2012, that "private loans are ballooning in the student lending market, making up $150 billion of the estimated $1 trillion in student debt in America, which now exceeds Americans' total credit card debt."

I have a big idea that will help students, veterans and the unemployed!

President Obama can lead by example by creating GreenCorps. Many are already familiar with the Peace Corps started by Sen. John F. Kennedy in 1960, and the AmeriCorps started by President Bill Clinton in 1993. President Obama needs his own footprints in the sands of this sinking economy.

During 12 weeks of GreenCorps training at various training sites throughout the United States, trainees (eligible students, unemployed citizens and veterans) will learn about green energy, conservation methods, and the green energy movement globally.

Trainees will learn about the biological, chemical and organic ways that ordinary citizens, and some businesses, can conserve energy, help save the planet, and save money using green energy. Students will have field trips at local businesses using green energy products.

Students will get hands-on training in creating basic conservation products such as sewer-friendly toilet paper, environmental-friendly household cleaning supplies, working with local farmers and elderly citizens to grow organic vegetables gardens and fruit trees, and explore wind and solar energy resources.

Finally, trainees will take a comprehensive national assessment to get certified as a GreensCorps Specialist. GreenCorps-placed graduates will be paid a fair stipend to meet basic expenses, plus limited employee benefits, for up to two years. The federal government will pick up the GreenCorps program's tab.

All GreenCorps applicants will go through the same training academies, but high school students will also receive college credit and scholarships. After each year of GreenCorps service is completed satisfactorily, eligible GreenCorps members will have 15 percent of their total student loan debts forgiven by the federal government. So, in closing, the GreenCorps should be part of a proposal to continue rebuilding the U.S economy, after Congress and the White House resolves raising the federal debt ceiling in a few weeks.

Yes, we can!

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