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"Montanans' Outdoor Way of Life" at Risk Without Clean Power Plan


Big Sky Connection

 Click on the image to listen to the audio.

Eric Tegethoff

October 10, 2017
HELENA, Mont. - The Trump administration has announced it's rolling back one of the strongest safeguards against climate change. The Clean Power Plan set federal limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, in turn encouraging clean energy development. The EPA does not yet have a replacement and will reach out to the public for a plan.


President Trump vowed to get rid of the rule in March. But the rollback has a lot of Montanans concerned.


Juanita Vero is chair of Montana Conservation Voters and her family owns a guest ranch in the Blackfoot Valley. She says climate change puts her outdoor recreation business at risk.


"The Trump administration's decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan will not only put me and my employees at risk, but also Montanans' outdoor way of life by worsening climate change and increasing air pollution," she warns.


The EPA claims the rule was too burdensome on the coal and natural gas industry. The Clean Power Plan was the Obama administration's attempt to place meaningful limits on air pollution and fully enforce the Clean Air Act. It was also the main means by which the U.S. would have met its emissions obligations under the Paris accord.


Climate change could hit Montana harder than other Rocky Mountain states, according to the Montana Climate Assessment, ultimately hurting the state's agriculture and lucrative outdoor tourism sector. Vero points to the effects of climate change Montana is already seeing like this year's extreme fire season, the most expensive in state history.


"That led to mandatory evacuations and air labeled as hazardous, and warmer rivers and streams with less water that led to fishing restrictions," she explains. "Climate change is affecting my business, as well as others across the state."


Outdoor recreation in Montana generates $7.1 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 71,000 jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.



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