Local legislators support White House Climate Plan


MISSOULA, Mont. - Local leaders rallied in Missoula Wednesday, announcing their platform on climate change.

During a press conference at the Missoula County Courthouse, Missoula Mayor John Engen, State Senator Dick Barrett, and State Representative Douglas Coffin all spoke about why they signed a letter to President Obama.

In the letter, signed by 33 state and municipal officials, They applaud the president's Climate Action Plan, which was drafted in June 2013. They hope that by voicing their support, they will receive more cooperation from federal entities as they draft legislation. 

This includes putting national limits on emissions from power plants, increasing energy efficiency, and investing in renewable energy projects.

For the Montana legislature, the focus is on research and planning for the effects of climate change. Research dollars will go into studying how a warming climate is affecting the state, especially water resources.

The other issue, says Coffin, is to plan for how to help those who depend on fossil fuels for a living. Coffin says, "Investing the money now is going to save us from having catastrophic and huge expenditures in the future."

Barrett claims that through small changes, especially in the energy efficiency.

Not all agree. The following is a statement from the Montana Republican Party: "Obama's climate action plan will increase energy prices. With temperatures like we've had lately, we can't afford to have our heating bills go up. Not only does Montana need jobs from our coal, oil and natural gas industries, we also need heat from them. Obama's war on coal and on Montana's natural resources is only hurting our state."

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