Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) announced their bipartisan Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on September 16, 2020. Feinstein and Daines recently wrote to the committee requesting a hearing for their bill.
“More than 2 million acres have already burned this year in California, and the situation is getting worse by the day,” said Feinstein. “This is a crisis all across the Western United States. We need the ability to responsibly clear dead trees and other biomass that will otherwise feed these destructive and often deadly wildfires. I’m pleased our bipartisan bill will receive a hearing and hope it quickly moves through the Senate. We can’t afford to do nothing while these fires get worse every year.”
“As deadly wildfires continue to spread across Montana and the West, it is important now more than ever that we advance this bipartisan forest management reform bill,” said Daines. “This hearing will demonstrate how our legislation will help protect at-risk communities, create jobs and contain wildfires before they get out of hand.”
Feinstein and Daines also sent a letter this week to Senate leadership urging quick passage of their bipartisan bill given the recent catastrophic wildfires in California, Montana and the West. Full text of the letter is available here.
The senators wrote, “If we don’t take strong action now, we worry that what’s happening to California and Montana will soon become the new normal in every state in the West. We urge you to help us pass this important, bipartisan piece of legislation as quickly as possible.”
Last month, Senators Feinstein and Daines introduced the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act, a bipartisan bill to help protect communities from catastrophic wildfires by implementing critical wildfire mitigation projects, sustaining healthier forests that are more resilient to climate change and providing important energy and retrofitting assistance to businesses and residences to mitigate future risks from wildfire and power shutoffs. The House companion bill is being led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.).