““A lot of the money is going into trees … Don’t we have enough trees around here?””
That was Herschel Walker, former football star and GOP Senate candidate in Georgia, reacting to the newly-signed Inflation Reduction Act during a Republican Jewish Coalition event in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
He took issue with the climate legislation, in particular, which includes $369 billion for climate and energy provisions. “They continue to try to fool you like they’re helping you out, but they’re not,” Walker said last weekend, as first reported by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They’re not helping you out, because a lot of the money is going into trees. You know that, don’t you? It’s going into trees. We’ve got enough trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
The audio of his remarks was also tweeted out on Monday night, which led “Herschel Walker” to trend on Twitter
on Tuesday morning.
The Inflation Reduction Act is a multi-billion bill that has several key provisions for Americans surrounding topics including climate change, healthcare and taxes. The bill includes tax credits for qualifying consumers who add efficient heat pumps, rooftop solar, electric HVAC and electric water heaters. Learn more about how the Inflation Reduction Act’s rebates and tax credits for heat pumps and solar can lower your energy bill here.
And the legislation does include a $1.5 billion investment in the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program, which is designed to plant trees, make cities more green and lower energy costs. The program describes itself as a technical, financial, and educational assistance program that delivers “nature-based solutions to ensure a resilient and equitable tree canopy where more than 84 percent of Americans live.”
“Not only will those trees reduce health risks from heat, but they will also provide huge household energy savings,” American Forests President Jad Daley wrote in a blog post back in July. “More trees will lead to more savings and cleaner air, too, thanks to the way urban trees absorb and deflect air pollution.”
Walker’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
But Walker doubled-down in his remarks with a tweet on Tuesday, which tagged his Democratic Georgia Senate opponent Raphael Warnock.
Warnock is the incumbent in the upcoming Georgia Senate election after his win in the special runoff election back in 2021. Warnock has a small polling lead ahead of Walker as of late August, with a recent average of polls compiled by RealClear Politics giving him a 4.4% edge.
Walker, a political newcomer, has nearly unmatched name recognition in Georgia from his days as a college football running back, where he led the University of Georgia football team to a national title in the 1980 season and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982. He considers Trump a close friend.
“There’s nobody like this man,” Trump said after Walker’s GOP primary win. “He’s a winner and he’s a champion, and we all love him.”