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By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris listen as Montana Governor Greg Gianforte speaks during a virtual meeting with governors to discuss their state’s wildfire prevention effort

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill into law that stops the state from taking climate impacts into consideration in its analysis of projects like power plants and coal mines.

An extremely controversial measure, House Bill 971 (HB 971) drew 1,000 comments during the most recent legislative session, 95 percent of which expressed opposition to the proposed bill, reported Montana Free Press.

The new law bans state regulators like the Montana Department of Environmental Quality from including climate impact and greenhouse gas emissions analyses when conducting comprehensive reviews of large projects, both inside and outside state borders.

“Climate change is real, it matters, the climate is part of our environment, and we cannot ignore the changes that are occurring,” said Anne Hedges with the Montana Environmental Information Center, who anticipates HB 971 will be the subject of a constitutional lawsuit, as Montana Free Press reported.


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