Conservation is inherently conservative. While the Left has radicalized the narrative on environmental issues, I’m here to set the record straight. A strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. I was proud to re-introduce my bill, the Trillion Trees Act this week as a part of House Republicans’ energy innovation agenda. The Trillion Trees Act is an important step in supporting market-based solutions to climate issues that we can all get behind.

Simply put, the goal of this bill is to plant more trees, grow more wood, and store more carbon. Trees significantly benefit the environment when forests are properly managed. As trees grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere to be stored in the wood forever. When the tree is chopped down and used as a renewable resource in our homes and businesses, carbon continues to be stored.

Arkansas is one of the United States’ leading timber producers, harvesting more than 24 million tons per year, worth an estimated $445 million to landowners. By encouraging the use of wood as a renewable resource through sustainable building tax credits and incentivizing the growth of more trees on the land currently utilized, new timber markets will be created in Arkansas and the nation. As the only licensed forester in Congress, I am uniquely passionate about forestation and conservation. I look forward to seeing the bill continue through the legislative process with bipartisan support as we work toward a cleaner environment.

Bruce Westerman is a U.S. Congressman representing the 4th District of Arkansas. He is a Republican.