Westerman Applauds Trillion Trees Executive Order

October 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald Trump issued an executive order establishing the United States interagency council of the Trillion Trees Initiative. U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

“A 2019 report from Swiss scientists estimated that planting 1 trillion trees globally would sequester the equivalent of two-thirds of all manmade carbon since the Industrial Revolution. Not only are trees powerful carbon sequestration devices, but they’re also a renewable resource for buildings and other materials. This is why I introduced the bipartisan Trillion Trees Act in Congress, with the support of Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and many of my colleagues. It’s time for America to take decisive action against carbon emissions. The Trillion Trees Act is that solution. It’s bipartisan reform that we can implement today, not a radical, punitive proposal like the Green New Deal. President Trump has been an advocate of this idea from the start, and his executive order today further enables us to bring Congress and government agencies together in cooperation on this initiative. I look forward to continuing to work with the president, his administration and my colleagues in Congress on planting 1 trillion trees worldwide.”

Background

The only licensed forester in Congress, Westerman introduced the Trillion Trees Act in February 2020. The legislation currently has 36 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

The bill has three parts:

  • Plant more trees in urban areas and on marginal agriculture land domestically while offering technical support and assistance for other countries to maximize forest growth internationally and reverse deforestation.
  • Grow more wood in existing forests and make them more resilient to insects, diseases and catastrophic wildfires.
  • Store more carbon by incentivizing innovative building practices with a sustainable building tax credit.

Trump announced the U.S. would be joining the global Trillion Trees Initiative during his annual State of the Union Address in February. More recently, he discussed the initiative during the first presidential debate. Westerman met with Ivanka Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the White House in July to talk about both the global Trillion Trees Initiative and the congressional Trillion Trees Act, and what they both mean for American forestry.

Today’s executive order establishes an interagency council that will further the Trump administration’s participation in the Trillion Trees Initiative. Click here for full details on the council.

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