At the Environmental Protection Agency, we are fulfilling our mission of protecting human health and the environment, and we are doing it by making commonsense regulatory decisions that support our economy and help create jobs.
As the president stated in his State of the Union address, the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.
Planting and restoring trees, along with sustainable forestation practices, are some of the most beneficial means to protecting our environment, sustaining land and resources, reducing carbon in our atmosphere, and ensuring a natural environment for various species and wildlife. In joining the initiative, the United States will continue to show strong leadership in restoring, growing and managing our forests.
Healthy forests capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, trees are among the most efficient carbon offsets. In 2017 alone, American forests and lands absorbed enough carbon dioxide to offset more than 11% of our nation’s emissions that year.
But this is not all we are doing. Americans should be optimistic with the environmental progress we are making and with the vision President Trump has for our future.
From 1970 to 2018, America has reduced the six main criteria air pollutants by 74% while the economy grew over 275%, all of which have seen reductions over the past three years under President Trump. In the past year, we have finalized the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which could reduce carbon dioxide emissions while allowing energy generation to continue at an affordable price.
The One Trillion Trees Initiative will build on our robust efforts to preserve and protect our environment and will continue to deliver on President Trump’s commitment to ensure that all Americans have access to clean air, safe drinking water and sustainable land.
We are proud that our nation is on a positive trajectory and will continue to flourish for the foreseeable future for all Americans.
Andrew Wheeler is administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
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