Environment

Gov. Tina Kotek hails an agreement reached last year by Oregon, Washington and four Native American tribes to bring back salmon on the Columbia River.

Governors, tribes ratify Columbia River Basin pact at White House signing ceremony

BY: - February 23, 2024

The governors of Washington and Oregon and four Native American tribal leaders gathered at the White House on Friday to celebrate last year’s agreement to avoid litigation over dams in the Columbia River Basin. The agreement, which was announced in December and resulted from years of negotiation among the states, tribes in the region, environmental […]

COMMENTARY

Biden’s protection of old-growth trees welcome but mature stands need protection, too

BY: - February 23, 2024

Amidst all the bad climate and environmental news is a welcome development: the Biden administration’s announcement of a new national policy aimed at protecting old-growth forests.  The proposal advances the cheapest, most effective solution we have – leave them standing. Temperate rainforests found throughout western Oregon and Washington trap and store enormous amounts of carbon; […]

The Hat Rock Fire in Umatilla County started the afternoon of June 13. It is among the first fires of the 2023 wildfire season.

Oregon ‘stumbling into future’ on wildfire funding, lawmaker says

BY: - February 22, 2024

Democratic lawmakers approached the February short session intending to create sustainable wildfire funding but their options have narrowed as the state nears another wildfire season with inadequate funding.  The Oregon Department of Forestry and State Fire Marshal’s Office currently have $87 million for the next two seasons, compared with the $220 million for wildfire the […]

With limited resources, a small Oregon town plans for climate change

BY: - February 22, 2024

One of the most iconic landmarks in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon, is a 100-year-old sign that arcs over the main street with the phrase “It’s the Climate” scrawled across it. To an outsider, it’s an odd slogan in this rural region, where comments about the climate – or rather, climate change – can be met […]

Green hydrogen plans take shape for former Alcoa site at Cherry Point

BY: - February 20, 2024

Nearly a year after Alcoa Corporation announced an agreement to sell its closed Intalco Works aluminum smelter to a Canadian energy company, the prospective buyer continues to hold its cards close to the vest. Executives with Calgary-based AltaGas Ltd. are now offering a few more clues about their plans to redevelop the sprawling complex near […]

COMMENTARY
Like these trees on Barbur Boulevard and Naito, trees fell across Portland as a result of January storms. 

Extreme weather is our new normal. Resilient homes should be, too.

BY: - February 20, 2024

During last month’s winter storm, the weight of ice on trees and power lines called attention to the dangerous conditions across Oregon. In fact, January’s storm and frigid temperatures ravaged our state, leaving 15 people dead, hundreds of thousands without power and many homes damaged by downed trees. As someone who’s lived in Eugene my […]

A pod of southern resident killer whales. (Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries)

Oregon officials add southern resident orcas to state’s endangered species list

BY: - February 16, 2024

Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to add a group of whales that forage along the Oregon Coast to the state’s endangered species list. The commissioners voted unanimously to list southern resident orcas as endangered during its Friday meeting in Hillsboro. The vote followed a presentation by a fish and wildlife official calling for […]

An Oregon wind farm on the Oregon-Washington border.

More than two dozen Oregon lobbyists work for both sides on climate change, report finds

BY: - February 16, 2024

More than two dozen Oregon lobbyists are advocating policies on behalf of industries that contribute to climate change while also representing those that fight and respond to climate challenges, according to a report from a lobbying watchdog group. Researchers at the group, Pennsylvania-based F Minus, launched last summer, compiled a database that shows that more […]

COMMENTARY
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read joined Oregon college students at a rally against higher education budget cuts Thursday, May 11, 2023. Read said there is "no better investment for the future of Oregon than higher education." (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

House bill on divesting coal investments would align Treasury holdings with other state initiatives

BY: - February 15, 2024

The Oregon State Treasury has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in coal but the Clean Oregon Asset Legislation – or COAL Act – would clean up those holdings.  House Bill 4083 would encourage the Treasury to stop investing in coal, phase out existing coal investments and report on this progress. Rep. Khanh Pham, D-Portland, […]

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Federal government finalizes floating offshore wind areas off the Oregon Coast

BY: - February 13, 2024

Oregon’s southern coast is one step closer to producing floating offshore wind. The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has announced two final floating offshore wind energy areas off the coast of Coos Bay and Brookings. The two areas cover approximately 195,000 acres, about 25,000 acres less than what was stated in […]

Washington preps to merge carbon market with California amid repeal threat

BY: - February 13, 2024

The state Senate has approved Monday to make it easier to merge Washington’s carbon market with ones in California and Quebec despite a looming ballot measure that could moot efforts to link the climate programs. Majority Democrats overrode Republican opposition to pass Senate Bill 6058 on Monday on a party-line 29-20 vote. It now goes […]

Driftwood Beach near Waldport. Some trails in the area have been closed to the public as local leaders wait for the state to revamp a recreational liability law meant to spare local governments from lawsuits when someone is hurt using paths maintained by cities and counties. (Michelle Klampe, Oregon State University)

Oregon lawmakers consider redefining ‘recreation’ to keep public trails open

BY: - February 12, 2024

The public’s ability to access some trails and pathways maintained by local governments could come down to how “recreation” is redefined in a state law meant to protect local governments from lawsuits.  On Monday, members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary considered Senate Bill SB 1576-3, which would expand the definition of recreation covered […]