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Bipartisan senators introduce tree conservation bill as climate solution

Bipartisan senators introduce tree conservation bill as climate solution
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Bipartisan senators on Wednesday introduced a bill that seeks to use trees to mitigate climate change, similar to a Republican-backed bill that was introduced in the House earlier this year. 

The new legislation, introduced by Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunGOP senators question Amazon on removal of book about 'transgender moment' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (R-Ind.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsKhashoggi fiancée: Not punishing Saudi crown prince would be 'stain on our humanity' GOP says Ron Klain pulling Biden strings Pompeo: Release of Khashoggi report by Biden admin 'reckless' MORE (D-Del.) on Wednesday, looks to forests, wetlands and other ecosystems to absorb carbon dioxide that’s emitted into the atmosphere. 

It authorizes $10 million for a program to shore up the country’s supply of seeds and saplings and also aims to facilitate the sale of credits that can be earned by landowners for sequestering carbon dioxide. 

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Though it has bipartisan support in the Senate, the bill could face an uphill battle in Congress’s lower chamber. 

During a February hearing, House Democrats criticized the GOP leadership-backed bill by Rep. Bruce WestermanBruce Eugene WestermanHouse passes major public lands package OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB MORE (R-Ark.) that sought to plant more trees, saying that it didn’t go far enough to prevent climate change. 

“We should plant trees, we should perfect cross-laminated timber ... but we should not call these ‘climate solutions’ if we are using these strategies to continue deforestation and continue developing and burning fossil fuel at a completely unacceptable and unsustainable pace,” Rep. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: White House rescinds Trump proposal to restrict greenhouse gas consideration | Texas governor limits shipping natural gas out-of-state amid power shortages | Lawmakers clash over gun prohibition in Natural Resources committee room Lawmakers clash over gun prohibition in Natural Resources Committee room MORE (D-Calif.) said at the time. 

And House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said that bill wouldn’t be marked up “in the foreseeable future” following the hearing.   

While the new bill isn’t identical to Westerman’s bill, it appears to have shared goals.

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Both reference “Trillion Trees” in their titles. President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE announced earlier this year that he wanted the U.S. to join a global initiative to plant, conserve or restore that many trees globally.

However, scientists have said that while planting trees could help store carbon, it’s not likely a sufficient solution on its own. 

In a statement on his bill, Coons characterized it as just one step that would be taken to reduce the impacts of climate change. 

“Removing carbon from the atmosphere is one of the many critical steps we should take to mitigate climate risks,” he said. “I’m glad to work with this bipartisan group of senators to invest in a solution that will benefit the health of people and ecosystems around the world.”