Oregon

OREGON

In the late winter of 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state of the U.S. Today, with 4 million people over 98,000 square miles Oregon is the ninth largest and 27th most populous U.S. state. Home to both the deepest lake and the largest mushroom , it is known for its extremely diverse and famously beautiful terrain. By the 1830s the Oregon Trail had already established a direct route to the Pacific Northwest, a route the U.S. Government encouraged settler colonialists to travel in order to strengthen claims to the territory. White settlers began to arrive in large number in the early 1840s. For most of history, Oregon wasn’t divided by lines on a map. It contained four distinct regions that varied in terrain, climate and resources. Native Americans had been maintaining the landscape for millennia with more than 60 tribes living throughout Oregon before colonization in the 19th century. Nine tribes are federally recognized in the state today.

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute identified water resources, coastal issues, and forest ecosystems as the three main climate change challenges facing Oregon. Summer drought is expected to increase by 50% by 2050 as the state becomes both warmer and muggier. In June, 2021, forecasts for a heat wave of historic proportions in the Pacific Northwest solidified, with a consensus among meteorologists that the summer of 2021 would rank among the most extreme events the region has ever seen. This turned out to be true as more than 100 people died from the heat.  If wildfires captured everyone’s attention in 2020 as more than 10% of Oregon’s citizens had to evacuate, by October 2021 more than 800,000 acres had burned in the state.

Flows in rivers and streams are increasing during late winter and early spring and decreasing during the summer. By 2050, Oregon’s snowpack is expected to melt three to four weeks earlier, which decreases the amount of water flow in the summers. On the coast, Oregon will be facing an additional 6 inches of sea level rise within the next sixteen years. The waters off of the coast are also particularly vulnerable to acidification, one of the oceanic side-effects of excessive carbon-emissions, posing an urgent threat to those ecosystems. This changing climactic suitability, as well as the disturbances like wildfires, drought, insects, and disease, will drastically shift Oregon’s forest landscape.

In 2006, former Governor Kulongoski took action to prepare Oregon for climate-related challenges by creating the Governor’s Climate Change Integration Group. This led to the state’s publishing of the Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework in 2010. In the decade since, Oregon has enacted a slate of legislation at both the local and state levels addressing a variety of specific issues. They have already surpassed the Renewable Portfolio Standard set in 2016, establishing a 50% by 2040. By 2017 an Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan outlined a set of recommendations for the State’s Public Health Division.

In 2019, more than one half of their generated electricity came from hydroelectric power. Natural gas accounts for about one third, coal’s share was only 4%, with  nonhydroelectric renewable resources, including wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal power, providing the rest.

In the spring of 2021 and under orders from Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality developed a new set of rules that would cap greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduce them over time. The proposed Climate Protection Program would cut emissions from suppliers of gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene and natural gas 80% by 2050. By capping emissions from fuels, it targets the state’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions; cars, trucks and other forms of transportation made up 36% of emissions in 2019. DEQ is taking public comments on the proposed rules through Oct. 25.

In June, 2021, a bill committing electricity providers to deliver 100% clean electricity to Oregon customers by 2040 and prohibiting new or expanded natural gas-fired power plants passed both the House and Senate of the Oregon State Legislative Assembly. When signed into law on July 27, 2021 by Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon became the 8th state (following Hawaii, California, Washington, New Mexico, New York, Maine, Virginia and the District of Columbia) to adopt similar goals to reach 100% clean or renewable energy, according to the NCSL.

Oregon is one of twenty-four states, plus Puerto Rico, participating in the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Indictment of US Forest Service ‘Burn Boss’ in Oregon Could Chill ‘Good Fires’ Across the Country

By Grant Stringer 02/08/24
A “burn boss” with the U.S. Forest Service is facing unprecedented criminal charges for an escaped prescribed burn in rural Oregon, which may complicate nationwide goals to set low-intensity fires that can thin out excess…
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Climate-friendly homes offer Grand Ronde’s tribal elders affordability and comfort against climate change

By Monica Samayoa 01/17/24
In a corner lot between Highway 22 and Grand Ronde Road sit 24 newly built single-family homes. These homes look like many that are being built in Oregon right now as the state tries to…
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Oregon natural gas utility can’t ask customers to pay for political spending, new pipelines

By Gosia Wozniacka 10/27/23
Avista, Oregon’s second largest natural gas utility, can no longer make customers pay for its political activities and subsidize new residential gas pipelines, according to the terms of a settlement agreement approved by the Oregon…
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Landfills in Washington and Oregon leaked ‘explosive’ levels of methane last year

By Joseph Winters 10/26/23
Landfills in Oregon and Washington repeatedly exceeded federal standards for methane emissions last year, according to documents obtained by an environmental group.
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BOEM identifies two wind energy areas with up to 2.6 GW of potential offshore Oregon

By Diana DiGangi 08/16/23
The Bureau of Ocean Management announced Tuesday that it has identified two draft areas for potential wind leases offshore southern Oregon, encompassing around 219,000 acres with a potential to add up to 2.6 GW of…
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BOEM Identifies Draft Wind Energy Areas Offshore Oregon for Public Review and Comment

08/15/23
As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind by 2035, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today…
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Oregon elevates natural and working lands to help slow climate change

By Sylvia Troost and Others 08/15/23
In a forward-looking move, leaders in Oregon have committed funding to utilize farms, forests and wetlands in the effort to blunt the effects of climate change.
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Oregon plans to install 500,000 new heat pumps by 2030. Who’s going to do the work?

By Kavya Balaraman 07/13/23
Lawmakers in Oregon late last month passed legislation that adopts a goal for the state to have at least 500,000 new heat pumps in its residential and commercial buildings by 2030.
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Oregon plans to install 500,000 new heat pumps by 2030. Who’s going to do the work?

By Kavya Balaraman 07/13/23
Lawmakers in Oregon late last month passed legislation that adopts a goal for the state to have at least 500,000 new heat pumps in its residential and commercial buildings by 2030.
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Enabling Fossil Fuel Addiction: It’s About More Than Money

06/23/23
A new climate case was filed this week. Multnomah County, the Oregon county that includes Portland, filed suit against several oil majors for their role in exacerbating the climate change that led to the county's…
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Oregon County Sues Fossil Fuel Companies Over 2021 Heat Dome

By David Gelles 06/22/23
The Oregon county that includes Portland on Thursday filed a lawsuit against several fossil fuel companies and their business partners in an effort to hold them responsible for a deadly heat wave in 2021.
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Verdict in Oregon wildfires case highlights risks utilities face amid climate change

By Claire Rush 06/19/23
A jury verdict that found an Oregon power company liable for devastating wildfires — and potentially billions of dollars in damages — is highlighting the legal and financial risks utilities take if they fail to…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

One Small Town Plans for Climate Change

By Claire Carlson 02/14/24
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.

New Canyonville Solar Project to Benefit Oregon Residents and Agriculture

06/09/23
SolRiver Capital, a leading renewable energy investment firm, is excited to unveil plans for the Canyonville Solar Project, which will combine sustainable energy generation with agricultural practices. Canyonville will be the first Oregon Community Solar…

PacifiCorp outlines how it will meet Oregon climate emissions reduction targets

06/05/23
Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp says systemwide reductions will get it a big part of the way to emissions cuts required in Oregon.

Pacific Power submits to PUC inaugural plan to achieve net-zero emissions in Oregon by 2040

05/31/23
Pacific Power released plans Wednesday to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions for all electricity sold to Oregon consumers by 2040, while significantly enhancing customer and community participation in decarbonization efforts.

Equitably fight climate change, inform Portland how to spend $750 million

05/23/23
The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund is projected to spend an estimated $750 million during the next five years to support communities most affected by climate change.

Oregon welcomes battery storage additions to advance renewable energy

05/03/23
Portland General Electric will procure 400 megawatts of new battery storage projects to advance renewable energy in the region.

Portland is getting the second-biggest battery storage facility in the US that could create enough electricity to power 260,000 homes

04/28/23
Portland General Electric, the utility serving Portland, Oregon, announced Friday it is putting in the second-largest battery storage installation in the United States, at 400 MW of power. The significance of such projects is they…

This couple spent $48,000 to convert their Portland, Oregon, home to ‘net zero’: ‘The future is efficient and renewable’

04/22/23
When Ryan Shanahan, 41, decided to buy a house in Portland, Oregon, he knew from the start that he wanted his future home to be “net zero.”

Hundreds of Portland students demand Oregon climate change action

04/21/23
Hundreds of Portland students and residents took to the streets Friday to demand that Gov. Tina Kotek do more to address climate change in Oregon. Youth activists walked out of 27 schools to meet at…

Friday’s ‘Youth Climate Strike’ will focus on Kotek’s lack of action

04/20/23
The kids are back. And they’re (still) pissed. The fourth annual Portland Youth Climate Strike will start at the Oregon Convention Center plaza Friday. Climate activists of all ages will meet at 10:00 am at…

Portland shelter tackles both the housing crisis and climate change

04/20/23
Path Home is a shelter and transitional housing village in the Lents neighborhood. It was designed to be green and energy efficient.

Here’s where renewable power is increasing (and where it’s not)

04/14/23
Despite supply-chain problems amid the lingering effects of the pandemic, 2022 saw major increases in solar and wind power in the United States, though that growth varied by state, according to a report by a…

Amazon claims to champion clean energy. So why did it just help kill an emissions bill in Oregon?

04/11/23
In rural Oregon, a small electric utility called Umatilla Electric Cooperative used to rely mainly on clean hydropower. It had a small carbon footprint. But when large data centers came to the area—built by companies…

‘Greening Ambassadors’ will be hired to help east Portland battle climate change

04/07/23
As the impacts of climate change have stomped into Portland, it’s becoming very clear that east Portland bears the brunt. Because there are fewer parks, fewer trees, and more roads and other paved surfaces, our…

In eastern Oregon, Amazon is working with a local utility to power AWS data centers with clean energy

04/04/23
Amazon is committed to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040, and—as part of that commitment—we’re on a path to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. As of today, Amazon has already reached more…

Amazon fights Oregon data center clean energy bill

03/29/23
Amid heated debate over Oregon legislation that would require data centers to use clean energy, data center operators have been conspicuously quiet.

Renewables top coal in U.S. for first time in 2022. Where does Oregon stand?

03/28/23
The U.S. achieved a milestone last year when renewable resources provided more electricity than coal for the first time. How did Oregon fit into the picture?

PacifiCorp wants more time for first Oregon clean energy plan; groups push back

03/27/23
Stakeholders say there is an “urgent need to keep moving forward on these plans.”

Oregon could tighten climate regulations for data centers, cryptocurrency farms

03/22/23
Lawmakers are trying to close a loophole for data centers and force some of Oregon’s biggest carbon emitters to move to cleaner sources of power.

Oregon’s clean energy goals

03/15/23
Oregon has adopted ambitious mandates to reduce the state’s carbon footprint and expand reliance on clean energy, including wind, solar and battery storage. Here are key policies driving the changes:

Climate Change and the Housing Crisis are Burdening Portland’s Emergency Shelter System

03/13/23
During the many extreme weather events the Portland area has faced over the last several years, from heat domes to snowstorms, Multnomah County’s emergency weather shelters have been a lifeline for the area’s housing insecure…

After Marking a Century, What’s Next for Oregon State Parks?

03/09/23
ince Oregon’s first state park was established 101 years ago, visitors have come to delight in the ability to easily access some of the state’s most beautiful locations with great trails, well-maintained facilities, and interpretive…

The U.S. achieved a milestone last year when renewable resources provided more electricity than coal for the first time. How did Oregon fit into the picture?

03/09/23
When Jim Kreider first heard about the proposed transmission line, he was angry. The Boardman-to-Hemingway line, known as B2H, would run 300 miles across five Eastern Oregon counties, including through the hills west of La…

Renewable fuel faces uncertain future in northern Oregon, Pacific Northwest

02/26/23
In a quiet northern pocket of rural Oregon, the soil is dark and damp. Mint and blueberries thrive here. Wetlands host unique plants and wildlife. There’s also a deepwater port along the Columbia River.

Developer eyes North Portland for major energy storage project

02/14/23
A developer is laying the groundwork for an Oregon battery energy storage project that could be more than three times the size of the largest existing system in the state.

Oregon churns out renewable energy, but needs batteries to store it

02/12/23
In Oregon, some utilities have begun ramping up renewable energy to meet the state's clean energy goals, but there’s a problem: The energy generated from these sources can only be used when the wind is…

Why Northwest officials are only now deciding how to regulate crypto mining

02/10/23
In a county of just over 100,000 residents, sitting directly below the Grand Coulee Dam, 13 crypto mining operations – think warehouses stacked with networked computers continuously working on complex math equations to earn bitcoin…

Oregon churns out renewable energy, but needs batteries to store it

02/10/23
Some Oregon utilities have begun ramping up renewable energy to meet the state’s clean energy goals, but there’s a problem: The power can only be used when the wind is blowing or the sun is…

Oregon city’s gas ban continues spread across the West

02/08/23
The gas prohibition in Eugene puts Oregon in line with its West Coast neighbors, where similar restrictions on fossil fuel heat are widespread. Oregon city’s gas ban continues spread across the West is an article…

NE Portland’s Cully neighborhood fights displacement, climate change with urban renewal. But will it work?

01/22/23
All around her, Chach Heart sees aging roofs and peeling siding. Nearby, decades-old water-damaged trailers line row after dilapidated row.

Oregon faces sustained and novel risks and opportunities as climate changes, new assessment shows

01/04/23
Oregon continues to face new and enduring hazards related to climate change, but opportunities for adaptation and mitigation are also expanding, the latest assessment released today by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute indicates.

Innovative Renewable Energy Project in Oregon Combines Wind, Solar and Battery Storage

11/21/22
A first-of-its-kind project, the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Morrow County, Oregon is the first utility-scale power plant in North America that combines wind and solar energy and battery storage in one location. The project…

Tiny Oregon Town Hosts 1st Wind-Solar-Battery ‘Hybrid’ Plant

09/28/22
A renewable energy facility in Oregon that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there has officially opened as the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.

These cattle ranchers are raising better beef, spending less — and reducing carbon emissions

03/21/22
Brown grew up in Bismarck, N.D., and went to college to be an agriculture professor. Then he married his high school sweetheart, whose family had a farm. The young couple moved home to help on…

Portland tree canopy has stagnated or shrunk, harming city’s climate change aspirations

03/17/22
Portland leaders received a grim snapshot Wednesday of the state of the city’s urban forest, suggesting that growth in its tree canopy has shrunk or plateaued for the first time in 50 years.

Agrivoltaic systems have the potential to meet energy demands of electric vehicles in rural Oregon, US

03/17/22
Electrification of the transportation industry is necessary; however, range anxiety has proven to be a major hindrance to individuals adopting electric vehicles (EVs). Agrivoltaic systems (AVS) can facilitate the transition to EVs by powering EV…

Federal spending bill expected to aid Oregon State wave energy, wildfire and mass timber projects

03/16/22
Federal spending legislation signed into law yesterday includes funding for several Oregon State University initiatives, including a wave energy project on the Oregon Coast, a study of the impacts of wildfires on drinking water and…

Portland Business Alliance blasts clean energy fund ‘mismanagement,’ urges city leaders freeze spending

03/14/22
Portland’s most influential business organization on Monday took at aim at the city’s clean energy program that is both awash in cash and under scrutiny as it begins to bankroll projects aimed to combat climate…

Portland Clean Energy Fund program is still missing key pieces, audit finds

03/10/22
Portland’s first-of-its-kind climate justice program needs help getting off the ground despite generating far more revenue than expected, according to a city audit released Thursday.

Environment bills address Oregon’s bottle bill, earthquake safety, more

03/09/22
Senate Bill 1520 also addresses low redemption rates by requiring large non-participating beverage distributors in certain parts of the state to either provide redemption services, join the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative or pay a fee…

State Energy Department to offer $12 million in grants for community solar, wind projects

03/08/22
The agency announced they’ll release $12 million in grants for projects such as adding more electric vehicle charging stations in rural parts of the state and adding solar panels to public buildings. Money will also…

US Plans to Auction 3 GW Offshore Oregon, Pinpoints Three Areas

02/25/22
This is according to a presentation BOEM published ahead of the tenth meeting of the BOEM Oregon Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to be held today (25 February).

Pipeline expansion would increase the flow of natural gas through the Northwest

02/24/22
TC Energy wants to modify compressor stations along the Gas Transmission Northwest pipeline in Oregon, Washington and Idaho to get about 150,000 dekatherms more gas flowing through the region per day — enough to meet…

Portland community leaders bring the heat to building standards

02/22/22
On a cold December morning, Anjeanette Brown sat inside a Shari’s restaurant, nursing a cup of coffee and casually pushing sharp objects out of the reach of their 1-year old daughter. Brown, a Black environmental…

Woke Portland city bosses award $12m clean energy contract aimed at boosting racial equity to bankrupt fraudster accused of lying about her prior experience

12/14/21
According to an investigation by the Oregonian, Linda Woodley, 71, has served time in prison over the past 25 years for defrauding energy companies, and racked up millions of dollars in liens for unpaid federal…

Oregon has a new plan for cutting climate pollution

10/11/21
After years of trying and failing to launch a cap and trade program to reduce carbon emissions economy-wide, Oregon has a new plan to cut some of its biggest sources of climate pollution.

Northwest Power and Conservation Council Sets Aggressive Targets for Renewable Energy

10/02/21
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has published its draft 2021 Northwest Power Plan, which will guide the development of the Bonneville Power Administration and the regional power grid through 2027.

Iron Battery Breakthrough Could Eat Lithium’s Lunch

09/30/21
The world’s electric grids are creaking under the pressure of volatile fossil-fuel prices and the imperative of weaning the world off polluting energy sources. A solution may be at hand, thanks to an innovative battery…

STracker Solar installs dual-axis trackers at Southern Oregon University for agrivoltaic research

09/30/21
STracker Solar of Ashland, Oregon, has installed three new proprietary STrackers in the north end of Southern Oregon Univerity’s Sustainability Farm adjacent to the ScienceWorks Museum parking lot.

Portland’s massive clean energy fund plans $100M spending spree to fight climate change, promote racial and social justice

09/29/21
Portland city officials are preparing to bankroll a new bonanza of clean energy projects and jobs geared toward the city’s historically marginalized communities.

Oregon readies plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, addressing climate change

09/20/21
After more than a year of work, Oregon has proposed rules for its Climate Protection Program, meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the effects of climate change.

Turning Waste Into Megawatts

08/16/21
Clackamas Water Environment Services, Energy Trust of Oregon and Portland General Electric celebrate new co-generation system, renewable energy  

Oregon governor signs ambitious clean energy bill

07/28/21
Oregon’s clean energy bill, which sets one of the most ambitious timelines in the country for moving to 100% clean electricity sources, was signed by Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday.

Oregon utilities face big challenges meeting 100% clean electricity by 2040 target

07/21/21
Oregon just passed an ideologically and technically ambitious clean energy bill that directs its two largest utilities to deliver 100% clean electricity to customers by 2040 and prohibits new or expanded natural gas-fired power plants…

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is so large, it’s creating its own weather

By Joe Sutton, Michael Guy and Hollie Silverman 07/20/21
As hot, dry weather conditions continue to fuel wildfires across much of the United States, the Bootleg Fire in Oregon has become so intense that it's creating its own weather. The fire has scorched more than 606 square miles --…

Preparing for Climate Change in Oregon

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Oregon is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Corvallis Climate Action Plan

04/11/19
The Corvallis Climate Action Plan was adopted by City Council in December 2016 following a two-year research and development period by the Climate Action Task Force. The plan goals, greenhouse gas reduction targets, and high-priority…

Portland 2015 Climate Action Plan

04/11/19
In 1993, Portland was the first city in the United States to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Since then, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have collaborated to produce updated climate…

4th Oregon Climate Assessment Report (2019)

04/10/19
The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) periodically assesses the state of knowledge of climate science as it pertains to Oregon, fulfilling the legislative mandate that created OCCRI. This report was delivered on January 31,…

Higher Oregon renewable portfolio standard targets likely to boost wind power

04/22/16
Oregon recently enacted legislation that requires two large investor-owned utilities operating in the state to supply 50% of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2040.

KEY RESOURCES

Oregon Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/02/22
Oregon was one of the earliest adopters of solar power in the country. And despite the state’s reputation for gloomy weather, it ranks among the top half of states for solar energy generation, and it’s…

Oregon State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/18/21
Oregon has many renewable energy resources. High annual rainfall in the western part of the state coupled with runoff from the snowpack in mountains across the state make it possible to generate substantial amounts of…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Oregon

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Oregon experienced two wildfires and one drought. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan

09/16/20
The plan outlines a set of actions that the public health workforce specifically can take to adapt to climate change. The report is accompanied by a number of videos that demonstrate the current resilience strategies…

Oregon Drought

09/16/20
Oregon is projected to see an increase in severity of widespread summer drought of approximately 50 percent by 2050.

What Climate Change Means for Oregon

09/16/20
Oregon’s climate is changing. Over the past century, most of the state has warmed about two degrees (F). Snowpack is melting earlier in the year, and the flow of meltwater into streams during summer is…

State-by-State: Climate Change in Oregon

08/06/20
Oregon is vulnerable to increasing heat, reduced snowpack, ocean acidification and wildfires

Cascadia Climate Action

02/14/20
British Columbia has already advanced a carbon tax shift, and Oregon and Washington are actively developing policies to make polluters pay for their pollution. This series follows and analyzes carbon pricing developments across Cascadia.

Portland Clean Energy Fund

07/23/19
The Portland Clean Energy Fund will bring $54 to $71 million in new annual revenue for clean energy and clean energy jobs in Portland. Nonprofit organizations, alone or in partnership with for-profit companies, schools and/or…

Keep Oregon Cool: Oregon Global Warming Commission

06/11/19
The Oregon Global Warming Commission tracks trends in greenhouse gas emissions, recommends ways to coordinate state and local efforts to reduce emissions, and works to prepare communities for the effects of climate change. The Commission…

Oregon Climate Change Research Institute

06/07/19
The Oregon State Legislature established the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) within the Department of Higher Education in 2007. OCCRI is a network of over 150 researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), the University of Oregon,…

MORE NEWS

Verdict in Oregon wildfires case highlights risks utilities face amid climate change

By Claire Rush   06/19/23  
A jury verdict that found an Oregon power company liable for devastating wildfires — and potentially billions of dollars in damages — is highlighting the legal and financial risks utilities take if they fail to…
Read more

Oregon wildfires case highlights the climate change risks to utilities

By Claire Rush   06/19/23  
A jury verdict that found an Oregon power company liable for devastating wildfires — and potentially billions of dollars in damages — is highlighting the legal and financial risks utilities take if they fail to…
Read more

After the longest walkout in Oregon’s history, the state’s climate progress hangs in the balance

By Kjellen Belcher   06/16/23  
For the past six weeks, Oregon’s legislative session has been held hostage. On May 3, a small group of state Senators fled the Capitol instead of fulfilling their core responsibility as elected officials: to represent…
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OSU professor to head $1.4 million study of climate, fish and conflict

By Ian Rose   06/07/23  
Climate change is forcing fish to move to cooler waters to survive, which means big changes for Oregon’s coastal communities and for international politics. A team led by Oregon State University professor James Watson just…
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Oregon youths’ climate lawsuit against US government can proceed to trial, judge rules

06/02/23  
A federal judge ruled on Thursday that a lawsuit brought by young Oregon-based climate activists can proceed to trial years after they first filed the lawsuit in an attempt to hold the nation’s leadership accountable…
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A wetter spring in Oregon has forecasters worried about an extended fire season

By Monica Samayoa   05/29/23  
State researchers predict Oregon could experience a much warmer summer than previous years as the climate shifts to a warmer pattern later this year. But a cooler and wet spring could lead fire season to…
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May heat wave highlights further need for climate change adaptation in Oregon

By Monica Samayoa   05/12/23  
Portland could see record breaking temperatures over the weekend, with weather conditions similar to the deadly heat dome event in 2021. That extreme weather, which killed 69 people in Multnomah County, brought heat to the…
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We’re About to See a Rare and Record-Setting May Heat Wave

By Andrea Thompson   05/12/23  
It may still be spring, but baking summer heat is about to hit the famously comfortable Pacific Northwest and western Canada. Starting this weekend, the heat wave will send temperatures soaring 20 to 25 degrees…
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Oregon must cut emissions much faster to reach global climate goals, report states

By Gosia Wozniacka   04/18/23  
Oregon has fallen further behind in its effort to reach the greenhouse-gas emissions target it was supposed to achieve by 2020 and needs to be much more aggressive in slashing pollution.
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Oregon needs to cut more greenhouse gas emissions to reach climate goals, panel says

By Monica Samayoa   04/15/23  
Despite Oregon’s ambitious climate policies and programs to reduce nearly all the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a new report says the state has yet to reach any benchmarks and needs to cut emissions…
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Climate Change: Oregon to receive $4M to tackle climate pollution

04/13/23  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced $3 million in grant funding to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across Oregon. The Portland metro area was allotted $1 million.
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Poll indicates heightened concern over climate change in Oregon

By Michael Kohn   03/24/23  
Four out of 10 Oregonians say they are “very worried” about the impact of climate change, according to a recent survey conducted by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center.
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Scientists pursue project in eastern Oregon that could stem climate change

By Claire Carlson   03/24/23  
Scientists and energy executives are pursuing capturing carbon emissions produced in Oregon and storing them underground, a novel process that could reduce the effects of climate change some day.
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USDA to spend $197 million to prepare for wildfires brought on by climate change

By Dinah Voyles Pulver   03/20/23  
Federal officials announced $197 million in grants on Monday to help more than 100 communities and tribes across the nation become more resilient to wildfire.
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Oregon students fight for climate change education through legislation

By Miranda Cyr   03/13/23  
Students across Oregon are advocating for a climate change education bill in the 2023 legislative session. Senate Bill 854 would require all K-12 public schools to integrate climate change education into all subjects, emphasizing justice,…
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Bill in Oregon would boost the state’s tree canopy to fight climate change

By Kale Williams   03/10/23  
In Northeast Portland, what was once a landfill is now home to rolling lawns, a fenced dog park and a community garden.
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Energy Trust of Oregon: An audit farmers can use to reduce power bills

By Brenna Wiegand   03/09/23  
Energy Trust of Oregon is looking forward to the Central Oregon Ag Show to spread the word about its collaboration with the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) to fund onsite energy assessments for rural small…
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A Gas Utility’s Astroturf Campaign Threatens Oregon’s First Electrification Ordinance

By Joseph Winters   03/07/23  
Last month, Eugene became the first city in Oregon to pass an ordinance requiring new residential buildings to be fossil fuel-free. But the policy may never go into effect — not if the natural gas…
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The Christian case for fighting climate change is being tested in Eastern Oregon

By Antonio Sierra   02/25/23  
Like many Christian stories, the origin of Climate Vigil began with an awakening. Peter Fargo, who founded the group, traces the idea back to the birth of his son in 2019. “There was something about…
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Montana Sues Portland, Oregon Over Fossil Fuel Terminal Ban

By Olivia Rosane   02/17/23  
In 2016, the Portland, Oregon, city council unanimously approved a ban on either building new fossil fuel terminals within the city or expanding existing ones. At the time, Inside Climate News reported it was likely…
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Klamath countdown: Researchers hustle before largest dam-removal project begins

By Tara Lohan   02/14/23  
To anticipate the impacts of a historic river restoration, we need to understand how salmon, bats, insects, algae and other parts of the ecosystem are behaving today....
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People’s Hearing on Proposed Expansion of Spokane Valley/Liberty Lake Area Pipeline to be Held Virtually Feb. 13

By John McCallum   02/11/23  
Capacity expansion of a natural gas pipeline running under southeast Spokane Valley and western and northwest Liberty Lake will be the subject of a “People’s Hearing” on Monday evening, Feb. 13.
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A Portland high school student has Oregon governor’s ear on environmental justice

By Gosia Wozniacka   02/07/23  
At 6 a.m. on a Tuesday last July, Danny Cage was packing for a camping trip with friends when his cellphone rang. The caller ID flashed “Salem.”
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Amazon fuel cells would use natural gas to power Oregon data centers, increasing carbon footprint

By Mike Rogoway   02/06/23  
Amazon wants to power at least three of its Oregon data centers — and perhaps as many as seven — with natural gas fuel cells that regulators say would contribute even more to climate change…
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The Oregon Lab Where Scientists Are Riding the Waves to a Brighter Future

By Annalee Newitz   02/03/23  
On the far western edge of the Oregon State University campus, tucked between verdant farmlands and a sports field, an extraordinary facility is hosting experiments that could save humanity. It’s called the O.H. Hinsdale Wave…
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OREGON RATED IN TOP 10 NATIONALLY FOR UTILITY PERFORMANCE: AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE AND SUSTAINABLE

By Robert Zullo   02/01/23  
A nationwide comparison of electric utility performance by an Illinois consumer advocacy group found that customers in states that are heavily reliant on fuel oil and natural gas, as in the Northeast and South, tend…
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U.S. Approves First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Design

By Molly Taft   01/24/23  
The U.S. has just given the green light to its first-ever small modular nuclear design, a promising step forward for a power source that remains controversial among some climate advocates but is experiencing a popular…
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Study identifies priority forests in Oregon for max conservation benefit

By Liz Kimbrough   01/24/23  
The haunting deep-green forests of Oregon are more than a backdrop for angsty teen vampires in the Twilight series. These coastal temperate rainforests on the west coast of the United States are some of the…
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LATEST CLIMATE ASSESSMENT SAYS OREGON IS GETTING WARMER — WHAT’S THAT MEAN FOR THE STATE?

By Cristina Rojas   01/21/23  
The Sixth Oregon Climate Assessment — a legislatively mandated biennial assessment of the state of Oregon-related climate change science and the likely effects of climate change on the state's natural and human systems — was…
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As Oregon lawmakers focus on housing, climate advocates eye building efficiency

By Monica Samayoa   01/20/23  
Oregon lawmakers are back in session, and they have housing on their minds. So do people who want to address climate change.
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2022 was Oregon’s 10th hottest year on record, extending string of record-warm years

By Zach Urness   01/13/23  
Oregon continued its string of historically hot temperatures in 2022, recording the 10th warmest year on record while overall, precipitation patterns trended close to normal across the state.
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U.S. Interior Department Takes Steps To Strengthen Offshore Clean Energy Development

01/12/23  
The Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish a proposed rule to update regulations for clean energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The…
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‘Firmageddon’: Oregon conifers suffer record die-off as climate crisis hits hard

By Gabrielle Canon   12/15/22  
More than a million acres of state forest contain trees that have succumbed to stressors exacerbated by a multi-year droughtScientists have discovered a record number of dead fir trees in Oregon, in a foreboding sign…
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Groups oppose NW Natural plan to blend hydrogen with Eugene natural gas

By Adam Duvernay   10/27/22  
A coalition of local environmental groups is asking the Oregon Public Utilities Commission to halt plans for an experiment in blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipelines leading to some west Eugene homes and businesses.
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A Clean Energy Trifecta: Wind, Solar and Storage in the Same Project

By Dan Gearino   10/06/22  
Elected officials and energy company executives gathered last week in rural Oregon to mark the completion of Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility, a project that combines a wind farm, solar array and battery storage.
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‘We Can’t Let the Kids Go Outdoors’: Our New Reality on the West Coast

By Emma Pattee   09/21/22  
We were at Lake Chelan in Washington, on our first big post-pandemic vacation, with our 3-year-old and our 6-week-old baby. Overnight, the wind had brought wildfire smoke from fires in Idaho and Montana. I woke…
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Oregon wildfire explodes in size as multiple blazes rage across the West

By Nouran Salahieh   09/12/22  
An outburst of wildfires that broke out over the past week amid triple-digital temperatures across the West has forced thousands of evacuations and choked the air with smoke as strong winds complicated firefighting efforts.
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Cedar Creek Fire, one of 21 fires burning in Oregon, forces evacuations

By Bryan Pietsch   09/12/22  
The Cedar Creek Fire in central Oregon, which has scorched more than 86,000 acres, forced rural residents to flee their homes over the weekend before officials slightly curbed evacuation orders Sunday night for just one…
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Heat, Water, Fire: How Climate Change Is Transforming the Pacific Crest Trail

By Rowan Moore Gerety   08/31/22  
In the desert near Agua Dulce, north of Los Angeles, hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail who reached mile marker 502 encountered a cistern of water that smelled bad and tasted worse, with a dead…
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Oregon officials defy order to halt farmer water deliveries

08/24/22  
The Klamath Irrigation District in Southern Oregon plans to defy a U.S. government order issued last week for a halt to water deliveries to farmers in the drought-stricken basin. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation manages…
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Ranchers told to stop diverting water in drought-hit area

08/24/22  
California has warned a group of farmers and ranchers near the Oregon state line to stop diverting water from an area already wracked by extreme drought and a wildfire that killed tens of thousands of…
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Interstate 84 closed in eastern Oregon due to wildfire smoke

06/29/22  
The Oregon Department of Transportation said the interstate was closed westbound in Ontario and eastbound in Baker City because of smoke from a wildfire.
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Oregon seeks community voices for climate equity committee

By Monica Samayoa   06/23/22  
DEQ is looking for about a dozen members from around the state to provide feedback and hold the agency accountable for its goals under the newly implemented Climate Protection Program. The program is designed to…
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Oregon Adopts Strongest Worker Protections in U.S. Against Heat and Wildfire Smoke

05/12/22  
To protect against extreme heat, employers must as of June 15 afford workers paid heat breaks when temperatures surpass 80 degrees F and must provide access to shade and drinking water, among other measures. To…
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Oregon Adopts Nation’s Strongest Farmworker Protections for Heat and Wildfire Smoke

By Lynne Terry   05/12/22  
New rules going into effect in Oregon in June and July are expected to protect tens of thousands of workers from illness and death when temperatures soar past 80 or when the air becomes clogged…
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Report: Oregon has $5.3b invested in fossil fuel companies

By Andrew Selsky   04/21/22  
The Oregon State Treasury has at least $5.3 billion invested in fossil fuel companies, a coalition of environmental groups said in a report Wednesday that blamed the state for adding to global warming and urged…
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Oregon delegation seeks federal funding for Port

By David Rupkalvis   03/20/22  
Six of Oregon’s seven Congressional members are going to bat to bring in funding to help the Port of Coos Bay bring a container facility to Coos Bay.
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Race to the bottom: How big business took over Oregon’s first protected aquifer

By Emily Cureton Cook   03/20/22  
The warnings were hard to miss on a forsaken stretch of Highway 26 in Eastern Oregon. A sign reading “Travel at own risk” clung upside down to a weather-beaten post. A private driveway forewarned: “If…
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Avista sues over Oregon’s ‘Climate Protection Program’

By Newsroom Staff   03/18/22  
Late last year, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission adopted rules establishing the CPP to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the effects of climate change. The regulations would apply to large stationary sources of natural gas,…
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Climate change results in projected shifts in plant hardiness zones

By Kym Pokorny   03/18/22  
You visit the nursery, pick out a primo plant, come home, put it in the ground and wait for it to become a beautiful tree, shrub or perennial. Then spring arrives and it’s dead or…
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