Washington, DC (July 1, 2013) -This month ACTrees went to Capitol Hill to advance a long-standing policy priority: national legislation to expand residential tree planting for energy conservation. In April, with guidance from ACTrees and ACTrees member organizations, Congresswoman Doris Matsui introduced The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, H.R.1807. Now we’re working to introduce a companion bill that would move similar legislation forward in the Senate.
On July 1st, ACTrees and its partners met with Senator Barbara Boxer’s staff to discuss options for introducing TREES Act legislation in the Senate. With the immigration debate concluded, upcoming energy legislation is likely to move forward. ACTrees spoke with the Senator’s staff about including the TREES Act as an amendment to that upcoming energy bill, S. 761. Senator Boxer is a longtime champion for green infrastructure and sustainable communities, and an earlier version of the TREES Act was included in her 2009 Climate Bill (which ultimately did not pass).
While ACTrees met with Boxer’s office in Washington, DC, local ACTrees members in California met with her Sacramento office to advocate from the local perspective. This is the kind of grassroots advocacy that makes politicians listen! We thank all of our member and partner organizations who are helping to move this legislation forward.
The TREES Act would establish a grant program to assist utilities to develop and operate energy conservation programs that encourage residential tree planting and provide incentives for utilities to partner with nonprofit organizations.
In partnership with local non-profit tree planting groups, strategic and properly planted trees will reduce electrical demand, lower electric bills, protect water quality and public health. The bill is modeled on the successful Sacramento Shade program, which is a partnership between the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Sacramento Tree Foundation.
ACTrees will continue working on this and other vital national legislation that helps local organizations create greener, healthier, stronger communities. Be sure you stay informed! Sign up here to receive our latest news updates and advocacy alerts. In the meantime, track the progress of H.R. 1807 and ask your Representatives to sign on to the bill!
Rep. Matsui Introduces TREES Act for Energy Conservation