The Natural Resources Committee could have no better Republican leader than Congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, a lifelong advocate for the environment and conservation.
As an engineer and forester by trade, Congressman Westerman has worked tirelessly to advance policies that support sustainable forests, clean energy and carbon sequestration, and will continue this work as the top Republican on the Natural Resources Committee. The Committee is critical to advancing clean, all-of-the-above energy measures. This includes the development of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and ocean energy, as well as monitoring traditional energy resources, including the development of oil and gas onshore and offshore, and overseeing the regulation of coal and hardrock mining.
Prior to joining the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Westerman spent more than two decades at Mid-South Engineering in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and in 2013, he was named Engineer of the Year by the Arkansas Society of Professional Engineers. He also holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry, which was founded by one of his personal heroes, Gifford Pinchot, a Republican who served as the first head of the U.S. Forest Service. He believes it is time for Republicans to reclaim the conservation movement that Pinchot and other Republicans actually began in the early 20th Century.
“When we talk about climate, I say that Republicans have to embrace the idea of our roots,” he explained in a recent webinar. “As you look back at the great champions of conservation and taking care of our environment and being a good steward, most of them were Republicans and conservatives.”
Congressman Westerman has demonstrated his commitment to stewardship throughout his career, most recently as the champion of the Trillion Trees Act. That bill aims to do exactly what its name suggests: help plant one trillion trees around the globe by 2050.
The Trillion Trees Act is a natural solution to address climate change through reforestation in urban and agricultural areas in the U.S. and offers support for other countries in similar efforts. It directs resources towards forest management and utilizing wood products, which store carbon even after the tree is cut down. As Congressman Westerman noted, “trees are the ultimate carbon sequestration device.”
“Bruce Westerman exemplifies the results-oriented leadership we need to secure wins for Republican resource management and conservation policies,” said U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus. “As the only forester in Congress, he has a uniquely advantageous understanding of our nation’s land, water, and environment, and I believe our Conference would be remiss not to capitalize on his expertise.
CRES is pleased to be working with Congressman Westerman in his new position on the Natural Resources Committee to deliver responsible energy policies that will provide reliable, affordable energy for the American people, create jobs and grow the economy, and help protect the environment.
We will be profiling other key Republican leaders in Congress, so be sure to check our blog regularly.