Letter: Braun forges path for GOP action on climate policy


To the editor:

Our very own Senator Mike Braun (R) has taken the lead on forging a pathway forward for Republicans to engage in policies that will contribute to our common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This month, he introduced the Trillion Trees Act with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) that establishes forest management, reforestation and utilization practices to remove carbon emissions already threatening the atmosphere while making our forests more resilient to future effects of climate change.

As chairman of the Brown County Republican Party, I have seen firsthand the momentum building on both the local level and federal level with Republicans around sensible solutions to reduce carbon pollution. As a tree farmer himself for decades, Senator Braun understands that trees present an easy opportunity for climate action and are one of the world’s most sustainable tools to reduce our increasing carbon dioxide emissions. This proactive initiative is positive on many levels and offers a natural solution that reaches every community in America. Its ecologically smart, financially feasible, engages America’s workforce, creates and include occupations of many varieties, preserves and encourages wildlife conservation, all while naturally lowering the ever-growing carbon footprint being created by modern day lifestyles and industry.

By planting a trillion trees, we could neutralize nearly two-thirds of all manmade carbon since the industrial revolution. Beyond generating a cleaner and more sustainable environment, the Trillion Trees Act could also help stimulate the U.S. economy by creating new jobs for growing and managing trees and investing in rural and underserved communities.

In 2019, Senator Braun co-founded the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Act as a way for Republicans to work with their colleagues and with Democrats across the aisle on environmental- and climate-smart policies. Through collaboration, these members are doing more than just forming ambitious concepts to address climate change, they’re working to enact viable and attainable solutions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the growing threat of changing climate on communities and economies from coast to coast.

Earlier this year, Senator Braun introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in efforts to advance the nation’s farming and agriculture industry into the 21st century by streamlining the process for farmers and producers to leverage their investments in climate-smart practices. This forward-thinking and innovative solution will open the door for the farming and agriculture industry to actively participate in carbon sequestration and storage while better supporting those already active in sustainable farming practices. This is a sensible climate-smart step to modernize the voluntary carbon credit market that offers a win-win solution for local economies and the environment.

Unsurprisingly, momentum is continuing to mount for Republican action on climate-smart policies with Senator Braun at the helm. With the Trillion Trees Act and widespread support for the Growing Climate Solutions — including environmental groups, Fortune 500 companies and the most recent co-sponsorship by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), a strong voice for agriculture — it is abundantly clear that Republicans are ready to advance bipartisan, common-sense climate policies into the new session of Congress.

I applaud Senator Mike Braun for taking the lead with the Trillion Trees Act and urge more senators to support the Trillion Trees Act, Growing Climate Solutions Act and other practical solutions to reduce emissions. Fortunately, broad bipartisan support for clean energy and carbon storage investments in the latest spending bill is an encouraging sign moving into the new year.

Mark Bowman, Brown County

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