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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Costa Supports Measure to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Jun 22, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) urged the United States House of Representatives to pass the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act on Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, the House approved the legislation by a vote of 300 to 118. The bill aims at reducing wildfires by streamlining the process for managing trees and vegetation growing near power lines and electric distribution lines. The new process proposed in the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act will promote “federal consistency, accountability, and timely decision-making,” according to the House Natural Resources Committee’s report.

Rep. Costa, who is an original cosponsor of the bill, said shortly after the House vote, “Wildfires can be utterly devastating to surrounding communities, as we have seen all too well in our California mountains recently. Clearly, we must do whatever we can to prevent wildfires and reduce the damage of the wildfires that do occur, and one logical way to do this is to remove the trees and other plants that can easily spark wildfires when they come in contact with power lines. This legislation expedites the process for removing the trees that have a high chance of coming in contact with power lines, so it is a straightforward, commonsense way to help prevent wildfires. I hope to see the bipartisan support for this bill continue in the Senate and for the President to sign it into law.”

The Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee on April 27th, with both Democratic and Republican committee members supporting the bill. The legislation has been sent to the United States Senate for Senate consideration.