U.S. Republicans propose to plant a trillion trees in fuel-friendly climate fix

FILE PHOTO: People plant trees on a sand mine on the dried lake bed of Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Republican lawmakers proposed legislation setting a goal for the United States to plant a trillion trees by 2050. This is plan is linked to fight global warming and intended to address climate change by sucking carbon out of the air instead of by cutting emissions.

The proposed legislation reflects an acknowledgement by some in the Republican Party of rising voter demand for action on climate change, even as it seeks to preserve the economic benefits of a historic drilling boom that has made the United States the world’s biggest oil and gas producer.

Republican President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, had expressed support for the idea of a massive tree-planting campaign during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month.

The bill was one of several elements of a broader proposal on climate change introduced by a half dozen House lawmakers on Wednesday.

Additional bills will be released over the coming weeks, focusing on expanding a tax credit to bolster carbon capture technology from power plants and directly from the air, creating a research hub to advance those technologies, and boosting “clean” energy, including natural gas and nuclear.

The bills focus on technology “innovation” and avoid setting a price for carbon pollution and setting or enforcing emission reduction mandates.