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

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

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…
OPB

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).
OPB

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…
OPB

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  
OPB

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…
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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.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

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

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,…

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…

Portland planning bureau director departs with $195K severance amid climate change program problems

By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh   03/15/22  
The head of the Portland agency tasked with tackling climate change and managing a massive clean energy program that’s both awash in cash and under scrutiny has accepted a six-figure severance to depart the agency.

How Oregon wine can survive climate change

By Pete Danko   03/14/22  
Warming has transformed the Willamette Valley since its modern founding in the 1960s from a marginal region for wine grapes to one where “bad” vintages — wildfire smoke excepted, perhaps — are a rarity.

After two-year review, Oregon’s climate change strategy must be more aggressive, committee says

By Alex Baumhardt  Photo: Bob White , Flickr   03/10/22  
The Oregon Climate Action Plan Steering Committee is made up of environmental, labor, public health and youth and community groups such as Renew Oregon, the Oregon Public Health Association and the Eugene-Springfield branch of the…

Recent projections for climate change push Medford’s climate adaptation plan forward

By Tyler Ridgle   03/08/22  
Medford has been working on its Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Plan since early 2022. One planning committee member is helping the city understand what next steps should be taken to adjust to the climate, based…

Climate change becomes latest threat to embattled Oregon spotted frog

By Michael Kohn   03/08/22  
Dams in the Deschutes River, along with the canals that siphon water away from it, have sent Oregon spotted frog numbers in decline for decades. Now scientists worry that Oregon’s megadrought could be making things…
OPB

Climate experts predict ‘tough times’ ahead as drought conditions continue

By Monica Samayoa  Photo: Erik Neumann , JPR News   03/04/22  
Climate experts from Oregon, Washington and Idaho shared an update on Thursday that shows about 74% of the Pacific Northwest is seeing drought conditions with 18% of the region experiencing exceptional drought. They predict the…

Climate change is already displacing people in Oregon. A UN report warns of more to come

By Courtney Sherwood and Rolando Hernandez  Photo: Brandon Swanson , OPB   03/02/22  
Thousands of Oregonians have already been displaced by climate change, which is reshaping landscapes and livelihoods around the globe, according to an Oregon State University associate professor who joined almost 300 researchers to create an…

Climate change impacting West Coast kelp forests, OSU researcher says

By Galen Ettlin   02/22/22  
An Oregon State University (OSU) researcher said important kelp forests off the West Coast are feeling the impact of climate change, which could affect products people use every day.

Oregon Group Hires Climate Scientist to Walk the Talk on Coastal Tourism

By Lebawit Lily Girma  Photo: MJ Tangonan , Unsplash   02/22/22  
As surprising as it might seem, a U.S. destination management organization stepping up to tackle climate action head on remains a novelty in the travel industry, despite America ranking among the world’s top three biggest…

This Vast Wildfire Lab Is Helping Foresters Prepare for a Hotter Planet

By Henry Fountain  Photo: Mason Trinca , New York Times   01/05/22  
When a monster of a wildfire whipped into the Sycan Marsh Preserve here in south-central Oregon in July, Katie Sauerbrey feared the worst.

Inside Clean Energy: Here Are 5 States that Took Leaps on Clean Energy Policy in 2021

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images   12/23/21  
It’s understandable if people are feeling dour during this unseasonably warm December when, once again, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass major climate legislation.

Jordan Cove developers abandon plans for pipeline, Coos Bay LNG terminal

By Carisa Cegavske   12/01/21  
The developers that had hoped to build the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Energy Project have told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission they do not intend to move forward with the project.

There’s a New Front in the War on Christmas

By Brian Kahn  Photo: Joseph Prezioso , Getty Images   12/01/21  
Climate change is the latest combatant in the war on Christmas. This summer’s record-smashing heat wave in the Pacific Northwest was an all-out assault on Christmas trees, and the impacts could reverberate not just this…

Climate change fuels a water rights conflict built on over a century of broken promises

By Nick Kirkpatrick and others   11/22/21  
The simple way to think about this crisis: There’s no longer enough water to go around to meet the needs of farmers and Native American populations as well as fish and birds.

Climate change is making it harder to find fall foliage

By Associated Press  Photo: Robert F. Bukaty , AP Photo   09/30/21  
Droughts that cause leaves to turn brown and wither before they can reach peak color. Heat waves prompting leaves to fall before autumn even arrives. Extreme weather events like hurricanes that strip trees of their…

Trainor and Nunez: Build Back Better offers Oregonians hope

By Graham Trainor and Diana Nunez   09/29/21  
Graham Trainor is president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Diana Nunez is executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council.
OPB

More renewable energy, less energy efficiency in new Northwest power plan

By Courtney Flatt  Photo: Bonneville Power , Flickr   09/28/21  
More renewable energy development and less room for energy conservation are two of the biggest changes in the draft of the new regional power plan.
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Oregon Has A New Plan To Protect Homes From Wildfire. Homebuilders Are Pushing Back

By Cassandra Profita  Photo: Kristyna Wentz- Graff , OPB   09/27/21  
The green metal roof on Mary Bradshaw's house gleams amid scorched earth and dead, blackened trees. All of the surrounding homes burned in last year's Beachie Creek Fire in Oregon's Santiam Canyon, but hers was…

Poll: 66% of Oregonians predict unstoppable climate change

By Zane Sparling   09/26/21  
That’s the pessimistic point of view espoused by the two-thirds of Oregonians who believe there’s a slight chance, or no chance at all, that humans can solve climate change in time to stave off the…
OPB

Portland youths take their climate-action message back on the streets after pausing for the pandemic

By Monica Samayoa  Photo: Monica Samoyoa ,OPB   09/25/21  
Portland youth climate strikers were back in action Friday after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to take an 18-month pause.

Oregon senators demand climate action in federal budget plan

By Peter Wong  Photo: Mark Ylen , Mid - Valley Media   09/23/21  
Oregon's senators are among seven Western Democrats who say they are including steps to counter climate change in the federal budget resolution and other measures pending before Congress.

Environmental Justice Advocates Lead Oregon To 100 Percent Clean Electricity Future

By Catie Gould   09/23/21  
On July 19th, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed one of the most aggressive clean electricity policies in the country. HB 2021, “100% Clean Energy for All,” aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity serving…
OPB

Oregon scientist is working to get more planet-warming carbon out of the atmosphere

By Jes Burns   09/22/21  
Over the next three years, Oregon State University researchers will be tackling one of the biggest technological challenges of our time — removing climate change-causing carbon from the atmosphere.

Oregon tree experts expect delayed mortality due to drought

By Associated Press   09/18/21  
 The effects of the drought and heat on trees won’t be fully known until next spring, tree experts in Oregon say.

Climate Change Brews Coffee Price Spike

By Sander Gusinow  Photo: Nossa Familia   09/17/21  
One of Oregon’s largest coffee companies saw a spectacular jump in stock prices this week after its initial public offering.

Climate change and hot, dry summers mean big trouble for Oregon’s trees

By Lizzy Acker   09/17/21  
As Oregon heads from a summer that began with a record-shattering heatwave into autumn, on some branches, the scorched leaves of deciduous trees are turning brown instead of red before falling to the ground. And there are noticeable dead…
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Dead zone lingers in ocean off Oregon Coast longer than expected

By Keely Chalmars   09/10/21  
It was during a routine trip to round up underwater instruments that Oregon State University marine ecologist Francis Chan discovered something he didn't expect. "It was really surprising," he recalled. "Oxygen levels were still really…

When Hard Jobs Turn Hazardous

By Sergio Olmos  Photo: Jordan Gale   09/05/21  
In early summer, a day laborer laying irrigation lines at a plant nursery just south of Portland, Ore., collapsed to the ground and died. His official cause of death was declared “heat related.”

Pacific Northwest Bakes Under More Searing Heat

By Molly Taft  Photo: Gillian Flaccus , AP   08/13/21  
The Pacific Northwest is enduring searing heat at the end of this week, a little over a month after multiple days of record-breaking temperatures killed hundreds of people in the region.

First Thing: Oregon declares emergency as another ‘extreme heatwave’ looms

By Nicola Slawson  Photo: Mathieu Lewis- Rolland , Getty Images   08/12/21  
Oregon has declared a state of emergency as the Pacific north-west prepares for triple-digit temperatures just weeks after a deadly heatwavestruck the region. People streamed into cooling centers and misting stations on Wednesday evening in…
PEW

Oregon Climate Plan Is First in U.S. to Account for ‘Blue Carbon’ Benefits of Coastal Habitats

By Sylvia Troost and Others  Photo: Craig Cornu   08/05/21  
Oregon’s estuaries, where rivers meet the sea, are home to forested tidal wetlands, ecosystems that store more carbon by area than almost any other type of wetland in the world. And for the first time,…

Study: Rising heat plus strenuous jobs could hurt worker health

By Tim Christie   07/19/21  
In Oregon, the triple-digit temperatures that scorched the region were responsible for 116 deaths, according to the Oregon Medical Examiner’s Office, and prompted Gov. Kate Brown to order Oregon Occupational Safety and Health to enact…

As the Bootleg Fire burns, locals are faced with the realities of climate change — and remain skeptical

By Joshua Partlow  Photo: Mason Trinca   07/17/21  
Youth pastor Matt Wolff and his wife, Jennifer, followed God’s direction when they settled at the end of a rutted dirt track in the pine forests above this southern Oregon town. And they have prayed…

Brutal heat wave persists in U.S. West as Oregon wildfire rages

By Sergio Olmos   07/13/21  
PORTLAND, Ore. July 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. West endured a fourth day of scorching heat on Monday as temperatures again threatened to shatter records, major wildfires burned nearly unchecked in drought-stricken Oregon and power…

What Oregon’s Ambitious Climate Bill Means for Climate Change

By Olivia Rosane  Photo: Feifei Cui - Paoluzzo   07/13/21  
The day before a record-breaking heat dome descended on the Pacific Northwest, Oregon lawmakers finally passed major climate legislation.

Baby birds flee the nest to escape record heat wave in Oregon

By Roselle Chen   07/12/21  
In a failed attempt to escape a record-breaking heat wave in late June in Pendleton, Oregon, more than 100 baby birds bailed from their nests. The downy babies, mostly Swainson and Cooper’s hawks, fell up…

People struggled to tap resources during Northwest heat wave

By Sara Cline  Photo: Maranie Staab , Bloomberg   07/12/21  
 People in Oregon struggled to get rides to cooling centers during the recent heat wave that is believed to have killed hundreds across the Pacific Northwest, officials said Monday, and staffing shortages prevented callers from…

Heat wave joins list of Oregon’s deadliest natural disasters; the worst remains Heppner Flood of 1903

By Douglas Perry   07/02/21  
Oregon has a long history of terrible natural disasters, and almost all of them come in one of four bitter flavors: flood, fire, windstorm, and earthquake. But now, with the temperature getting as high as…

Heat-Related Death Toll Climbs to Nearly 100 in Washington State and Oregon

By Sergio Olmos, Winston Choi-Schagrin, and Shawn Hubler  Photo: Alisha Jucevic   07/01/21  
The heat wave in parts of the Pacific Northwest played a role in the deaths of dozens of people, some of whom lived alone.

The Desperate Hunt for Air Conditioners in Oregon and Washington

By Yana Pashaeva  Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images   07/01/21  
Air conditioners have become a treasure in Washington and Oregon amid an unprecedented heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Portland and Seattle hit records of 116 and 108 degrees on Monday. More than 35 cities in the…

Oregon’s Buckled Roads and Melted Cables Are Warning Signs

By Aarian Marshall  Photo: Getty Images   07/01/21  
This week, trapped under a stalled mountain of warm air called a heat dome, the Pacific Northwest got a taste of the future. On Sunday, as temperatures hit 105, the concrete beneath State Route 544…

Extreme Heat in Portland Is an ‘Acute Disaster on Chronic Disaster’

By Zoë Carpenter  Photo: John Rudoff / Sipa USA via AP Images   06/30/21  
By noon on Monday, the temperature in Portland was climbing up the triple digits, passing 104, then 106, on its way to a record high of 116—40 degrees higher than the average temperature for this…

Oregon farmers press Merkley for solutions to drought, fires

By Pat Kruis   06/30/21  
Farmers line up to outline their needs as water shortage strangles their crops

Inslee praises renewable energy economy during Port of Vancouver visit

By Rick Bannan  Photo: Rick Bannan , The Reflector   06/29/21  
Gov. Jay Inslee took a tour along towering wind turbine blades and cranes used to move them during a visit to the Port of Vancouver on June 15, commending the work to transport thousands of…

Unprecedented Heat Wave in Pacific Northwest Driven by Climate Change

By Anne C. Mulkern  Photo: Nathan Howard   06/28/21  
A blistering heat wave obliterated high temperature records in Oregon and Washington over the weekend, ratcheting up risks for deaths and fires, and underscoring the dangers of climate change.

Over 6,000 PGE customers lost power amid record heat wave

By Ardeshir Tabrizian  Photo: Sean Meagher/The Oregonian   06/28/21  
More than 6,300 Portland General Electric customers were hit with power outages this weekend as the city’s all-time high temperature climbed to 112 degrees late Sunday afternoon, according to PGE data.

Pacific Northwest faces one of its most severe heat waves in history

By Jason Samenow   06/24/21  
Forecasts for a heat wave of historic proportions in the Pacific Northwest have solidified, and a consensus is building among meteorologists that this could rank among the most extreme events the region has ever seen.

‘We’re just trying to survive at the moment’: Oregon agricultural sector hit hard by severe drought

By Kale Williams  Photo: Dave Killen , The Oregonion   06/23/21  
From the Columbia River in the north to the Klamath Basin that straddles the California border, Oregon is well short of the water it needs.