The Siuslaw hairy-necked tiger beetle used to thrive on beaches in California, Oregon and Washington.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether endangered Oregon beetle needs federal protection

BY: - June 1, 2023

In 2020, a nonprofit environmental group focused on biodiversity petitioned federal authorities to protect a bug-eyed beetle that used to thrive on West Coast beaches but now only exists in certain sites, mainly in Oregon. In 2021, officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told the Center for Biological Diversity that the Siuslaw hairy-necked […]

U.S. House approves debt limit package, sending it to Senate days before default deadline

BY: - May 31, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House took a broadly bipartisan vote Wednesday night on the debt limit package, sending it to the U.S. Senate where lawmakers are expected to vote quickly to clear the measure. The bill would suspend the nation’s borrowing limit through Jan. 1, 2025 and set caps on discretionary spending for two years. […]

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Rosenblum sues 3M, DuPont, others over environmental contamination

BY: - May 31, 2023

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Wednesday sued 21 organizations – including multinational companies DuPont and 3M – alleging their foam-based chemical products have been responsible for public health and environmental contamination in the state. The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, alleges the companies were involved in the manufacture of the chemicals used […]

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley

Oregon’s Sen. Merkley opposes debt deal while Rep. Bentz praises it

BY: - May 31, 2023

UPDATED at 7:04 p.m. Wednesday with the U.S. House vote and reactions. At least one member of Oregon’s congressional delegation plans to vote against the debt ceiling deal brokered by congressional leaders and President Joe Biden. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley said in a news release on Wednesday he plans to vote against the bill, which […]

Electricity lines

With summer coming fast, regulator issues electric reliability warning

BY: - May 31, 2023

As much as two thirds of North America could face shortages of electricity this summer in the event of severe and protracted heat, according to the regulator in charge of setting and enforcing standards for the electric grid. “Increased, rapid deployment of wind, solar and batteries have made a positive impact,” said Mark Olson, manager […]

Under its multiple-use and sustained yield mandates, the Bureau of Land Management manages public rangelands for various uses and values, including livestock grazing, recreational opportunities, watershed management and wildlife habitat.

Western lands fight erupts over Bureau of Land Management’s conservation proposal

BY: - May 30, 2023

One thing opponents and proponents of a recently proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule agree on: It would be a major shift in how the agency manages nearly 250 million acres of federal lands. The rule would allow for conservation leases, similar to how the agency auctions off parcels of land for mining, livestock […]

Water is needed for agriculture.

Funding for drought package less than half of what bipartisan authors proposed

BY: - May 30, 2023

Democratic leaders in the Legislature have announced they’d allocate $110 million to confront Oregon’s drought and water security issues for the next two years.  It’s less than half of what the budget’s authors, Reps. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, and Mark Owens, R-Crane, had initially proposed in March. The two wanted $250 million for at least 25 […]

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision, ruling in favor of an Idaho couple in a case linked to the Clean Water Act.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

In Utah, Lake Powell reaches historically low levels in June 2021.

Western states agree to Colorado River water-sharing agreement

BY: - May 22, 2023

The governors of Arizona, California and Nevada have announced a historic water-sharing agreement for the Colorado River in an attempt to salvage one of the West’s major sources of drinking water that has dwindled in severe drought. The agreement this week marks the culmination of months of tumultuous negotiations among seven Western states, whose 40 […]

Crypto mining facility in Washington state.

WA passes climate goals for crypto and data centers while OR’s effort fails 

BY: - May 19, 2023

Proposals in Oregon and Washington to regulate carbon emissions tied to crypto mining and data centers took opposite paths during the 2023 legislative session. In Washington, House Bill 1416 sailed through the House and Senate with relative ease and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this month. The new law mandates that customers of […]

Farmland can be used for clean energy infrastructure.

Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans

BY: - May 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin to administer two loan and grant programs worth nearly $11 billion to boost clean energy systems in rural areas, administration officials said Tuesday. Congress approved the federal spending — $9.7 billion for a grant and loan program the department is calling the New Empowering Rural America program, or […]

contaminated water

Oregon Capital Chronicle wins first place in national journalism awards

BY: - May 10, 2023

Oregon Capital Chronicle reporter Alex Baumhardt, with an assist from past interns Cole Sinanian and Jael Calloway, won a coveted first place prize in a nationwide journalism contest. The National Headliner Awards, which is one of the oldest and largest journalism awards in the country, announced Wednesday they had received first place in the online […]