WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6) and co-sponsors Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and Barbara Lee (CA-13) have introduced The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act. According to the Alliance for Community Trees, the legislation aims to reduce residential energy consumption and costs through strategically planting residential shade trees nationwide.
The Act would establish a grant program to assist local utilities in developing and implementing conservation programs that encourage residential tree planting, and incentives to partner with local non-profit groups. Strategically planted shade trees can reduce home air conditioning bills by as much as 30% in some cities, and offer other environmental, health, and quality of life benefits. While the bill is not likely to move forward in the Republican-controlled House, it does provide something of a marker for future possibilities.