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NEW REPORT: Economic Impact of Wildfires Higher than Previously Estimated

Washington, D.C.—Today, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released a report authored by the JEC Democratic Majority, finding that climate-exacerbated wildfires cost the United States between $394 to $893 billion per year in economic costs and damages – a number much higher than existing estimates. 
The new estimate pulls from existing research on related costs like property damage and diminished real estate value, direct deaths and injuries, health impacts from wildfire smoke, income loss, watershed pollution, and a range of other factors. Each of these impacts on their own are very costly, but together create disastrous economic consequences. 
“The numbers are staggering. As things have gotten warmer and dryer, we’re seeing the high cost of inaction on climate policy,” said JEC Chairman Martin Heinrich. “The impacts are even bigger than we thought. And because we’ve waited so long to act, we have very large bills coming due that deeply impact whole economies and communities. We’ve seen that directly in New Mexico, and other communities across the country are now feeling those impacts too. 
“I hope this report creates a sense of urgency at all levels of government for implementing real climate policies. When Americans decide that a problem is worth solving, there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished.” 
The full report can be found online here. 
About Chairman Martin Heinrich ? ? 
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has served the people of New Mexico in the United States Senate since 2012. In addition to his role as Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, Heinrich also serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor, as New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustee, and in AmeriCorps with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.?? 
About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee? 
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress.????