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Surprise! WAP is actually a heated climate reform issue

Ain’t nobody going to be able to enjoy Cardi B’s version of a WAP if Trump’s government manages to defund the real WAP – the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

According to YouTube, at least 100 million people have familiarised themselves with WAP as defined by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in their recent song about female pleasure. If you remain one of the innocently unindoctrinated, I’ll provide a link with a disclaimer and no recourse for retribution if it’s all a bit lyrically and visually experimental for you.

Cardi B x Megan Thee Stallion "WAP" Stream | HYPEBEAST

Whilst the general message of the song (?) seems to be a progressive one (I guess? Maybe?), blogger Emily Atkin pointed out in today’s edition of Heated that the original WAP is also worthy of our attention.

Shorthand for Weatherization Assistance Program, WAP is the longstanding US Department of Energy’s program to help low income households become more sustainable. It aims to provide grants to families to upgrade their electric, heat, and water models, saving them money and reducing the state’s overall energy output.

At the core of the WAP model is the notion of ‘weatherization’, or shoring up properties against weather stress. Uninsulated homes allow energy to escape, making them more expensive and less efficient to heat and cool. WAP grants can reduce energy costs by sealing up holes in walls or windows, adding insulation, or replacing defunct or broken heating and cooling equipment.

Weatherization - Supports to Encourage Low-income Families

Forget ‘whores in your house’, it’s the holes in your house you should be worried about.

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, in 2010 the WAP funded upgrades to more than 340,000 homes with a financial return of over $4.50 to every $1 spent. It’s estimated that $1.1 billion was saved in national energy costs, and $3.6 billion in healthcare costs.

The WAP is an unambiguously net positive program that’s enjoyed a history of bipartisan support in US congress so, of course, the Trump administration is trying hard to axe it.

The Republican Party under Trump has tried to defund WAP every fiscal year, erasing it completely from all its proposed budgets. This is in conjunction with a proposed $37 million cut to other household energy efficiency funds in its 2021 proposal.

A whole host of stakeholders have repeatedly condemned the administration’s attempts to quietly dispose of the WAP, but amongst the already long and ever-growing list of environmental grievances wrought by Trump’s government this one had gone largely unnoticed. Cardi B’s unwitting popularising of the acronym is the perfect opportunity to catapult WAP’s alternate meaning into the limelight.

As climate change continues to precipitate extreme weather events, low income families are only going to be more effected by elemental stress. Now is not the time to cut funding to this essential program but expand it.