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Build Back Better Plan effect could spend money on wildfire mitigation

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 19:56:24-05

BOZEMAN - As President Biden's Build Back Better plan continues to get debated in Washington we are taking a closer look at the effects the plan would 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,” says Whitney Tawney, Executive Director of Montana Conservation Voters.

Some think that that would be too much spending.

Fire Graphic .jpg

In a statement to MTN News, a spokesperson for Senator Daines said: “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.”

According to Governor 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.