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Build Back Better Plan could mean money for Montana wildfire mitigation

Posted at 10:34 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 12:46:09-05

BOZEMAN — MTN News is taking a closer look at the effects President Biden's Build Back Better plan could have for you in Montana.

In the $1.5 trillion plan, $30 billion would be used for forestry, of that $20 billion would be used for wildfire mitigation.

Montana Conservation Voters say wildfires are costing taxpayers money

“That hurts Montanans because then those are dollars that are not being used for other reasons,” Montana Conservation Voters executive director Whitney Tawney said.

Some think that that would be too much spending.

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“The Democrats’ reckless tax and spending bill is full of policies that only cater to the radical left. This bill does nothing to mitigate wildfire risk or solve the root issues that have turned our forests into a tinderbox," a spokesperson for Sen. Steve Daines said In a statement to MTN News.

According to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office, the 2021 wildfire season cost Montana $47.5 million.

The other focus of the Build Back Better plan is creating more clean energy jobs.

“We have to find creative solutions and one of those creative solutions is creating a clean energy economy,” says Tawney.

In president Biden's $555 billion plan he intends to invest in clean energy which he expects in return will create more clean energy jobs.

“With our outdoor and agriculture as leading industries in the state, we can't have conservation without those as partners and the same thing would be with our clean energy economy,” says Tawney.

But not all think that this plan would lead to the job creation the president expects

“This bill is a continuation of President Biden and the Democrats’ war on made in Montana energy and will kill good-paying Montana energy jobs while spending billions to create so-called green government jobs in the midst of a labor shortage. Montana families can’t afford the soaring energy prices this bill will cause,” said a Daines spokesperson.

“We can not afford to not invest in climate change solutions because we are then going to pay for it later,” says Tawney.

With this specific portion, it is still unclear how much states would even get.