Mansfield Courthouse in Butte gets an update with funds from the Inflation Reduction Act - TAI News
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The Mike Mansfield Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Butte, MT. (Wikimedia Commons)

On June 4, the General Services Administration, the agency that manages federal property, announced a $24 million project to update the Mike Mansfield Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Butte, Montana.

The building, which has been a fixture of the city since 1904, will be brought up to federal standards for earthquake safety with clean building materials that are produced using techniques that are more carbon-friendly. Carbon emissions are the leading cause of climate change.

Financing for the project will come from the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2022. A major component of the law is significant direct federal investment in efforts to cut carbon emissions and combat global warming. According to the Treasury Department, the legislation provides for the largest such investment in American history.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester attended the announcement, along with GSA administrator Robin Carnahan and other officials.

“This investment in the Mike Mansfield Federal Building is a testament to what can happen when rural America has a seat at the table,” Tester said, according to the GSA’s press release. 

Carnahan said in the statement, “Through the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re transforming federal facilities like the Mansfield Courthouse into models of clean energy innovation and catalysts for the domestic manufacturing industries of the future, all while reducing harmful pollution and saving taxpayer money.”

Tester was the only federal elected official representing Montana to support passage of the bill when it was being debated in Congress. Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale, both Republicans, opposed the legislation, which ultimately was passed on a party-line vote.

The White House has estimated that the Inflation Reduction Act will generate $7 billion in investments for clean power generation and storage in Montana by 2030.

The law also contains rebates to consumers for using energy-efficient appliances and is funding investments in climate-friendly agricultural projects.Tim Sheehy, the Republican candidate running against Tester in November, has criticized the Inflation Reduction Act. In a December 2023 social media post, Sheehy claimed the law was “driving prices higher” and said Tester had “never seen a Dem spending bill he didn’t like.”

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