The Latest

Governor names members of climate change panel

Conservation - Ted Kulongoski wants the advisers to focus on aggressive measures

Friday, January 25, 2008
The Oregonian

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Thursday he wants a new state climate change commission to focus on aggressive conservation measures, green building, a carbon "cap-and-trade" system and looming water shortages.

The governor also announced his appointments to the advisory group, which the Legislature authorized last year. The Oregon Global Warming Commission includes utility leaders, environmentalists, a forest land owner and an executive with R.B. Pamplin, the owner of Ross Island.

State's top industries warm to Gregoire's climate change legislation

January 24, 2008

Many of the state's largest industries testified here Wednesday that they are willing to support - with reservations - landmark legislation requiring them to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions, join a national registry of polluters, and live with new statewide emission limits.

Gov. Chris Gregoire's climate change bill, heard Wednesday by committees in both the House and Senate, also would direct the Department of Ecology to design a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions that could become a model for a regional system covering several Western states and Canadian provinces. The design would be submitted to the 2009 Legislature for enactment into law.

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Metro, counties will get to set growth areas
Land use

The hard part will be choosing which land will have houses and which will stay rural

January 25, 2008
The Oregonian

The state Land Conservation and Development Commission approved rules Thursday that allow Metro and three counties to determine which land is developed and which is farmed for the next 40 to 50 years.

The new system of designating urban and rural reserves could replace the current system of expanding the urban growth boundary every few years.

Farmers strongly supported creation of rural reserves, saying agriculture needs the certainty of a stable land base as Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties grow. Builders also backed it.

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Only so much land in gorge

Population is soaring, but to expand, The Dalles might have to battle Congress and its 1986 land protection act

January 20, 2008
The Oregonian

Just seven square miles in size, this skinny, crescent-shaped agricultural city is searching for the answer to the question that may set Columbia River Gorge precedent: How do we accommodate population growth?

The Dalles is the first city in the gorge looking to significantly expand its 20-year land supply, or urban growth boundary. The effort also marks the first time city, county and state officials will be asked how -- or if -- large-scale growth can occur in the gorge.

City leaders say available property in The Dalles is running dangerously low, and 55 percent more land is needed to accommodate growth by 2026. But expansion would infringe on land federally protected by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

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Fisheries agency advises against LNG site permits

January 19, 2008
The Oregonian

For the time being, the National Marine Fisheries Service has recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny a dredging permit to a controversial liquefied natural gas terminal that has been proposed on the Columbia River upriver from Astoria.

In comments filed Friday on the federal energy regulators' Web site, the marine fisheries agency said NorthernStar Natural Gas Inc.'s application for a permit for its proposed Bradwood Landing terminal was so deficient that it should submit a new one and that the corps should consider issuing another public notice for comment.

The fisheries agency said construction of the terminal would have a heavy impact on salmon and other endangered species, and that a thorough analysis was required of alternatives that would have less adverse effects.

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Gregoire urges fast action on climate change measure

January 14, 2008
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On the first day of the 2008 legislative session, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a multifaceted climate change bill that could dramatically reshape the state's economy.

The legislation proposed Monday would lay the groundwork for concrete limits on greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2012. It would give the state Department of Ecology the authority to regulate those emissions.

It would require big polluters to track their carbon dioxide releases beginning next year, with annual emissions reports starting in 2010.

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'Reserves' offer growth clarity

January 2 , 2008
The Oregonian

Faced with accommodating the urban area's growing population while protecting its verdant farmland, Metro and its member counties are deciding which land will grow crops and which will sprout houses for the next 40 to 50 years.

The 2007 Legislature empowered Metro to designate "urban reserves" of land that will be developed. It also authorized Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties to designate "rural reserves" deemed crucial to the agricultural economy or to the protection of natural resources, including water quality and wildlife habitat.

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Farmers fight central Oregon resorts

December 31, 2007
The Oregonian

It's dark enough on this December night that the yellow glow coming from the windows of the Powell Butte Community Center barely lights the gravel parking lot filled with sedans, pickups and SUVs.

Inside, about 40 farmers, retirees and others who live in this unincorporated community west of Prineville are thinking of ways to stop the growth of destination resorts in their central Oregon home.

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Governor: 'Incomplete and flawed'

December 19, 2007
The Daily Astorian

"Incomplete and flawed."

That's how Gov. Ted Kulongoski described the federal environmental review of the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal at Bradwood Landing.

In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released Tuesday, the governor listed his concerns about the Bradwood project, proposed for a site 20 miles east of Astoria on the Columbia River.

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The hot air and cold facts that show we’ve wasted a decade since the Kyoto global warming conference.

December 7, 2007
Willamette Week

A decade ago, the world’s leaders jetted to Kyoto, Japan, on a mission to do something more than gripe about the weather. They aimed to negotiate a compact to fight global warming.

Two articles about why so little has changed in 10 years along with quotes from politicians and policy wonks.

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Big, wet storms may become new 'normal'

December 06, 2007
The Oregonian

The steamy tropical belt around Earth's midsection, birthplace of the powerful storm that pounded the Northwest this week, is expanding much faster than scientists studying global warming expected.

It's now as wide as climate models suggested it would be at the end of this century, new research shows. The rapid growth is another sign that bigger storms carrying more rain may become the new "normal" in the Northwest, especially in fall and early winter.

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Applegate gravel pit project hits roadblock

Dec. 06, 2007
Mail Tribune

Winery owners and other neighbors have prevailed in appeals to stop plans for a gravel pit in the Applegate Valley.

A Jackson County hearings officer decided that neither the traffic plan nor a flood plain study for a proposed aggregate mine at the Krouse Ranch were adequate. He denied the applications that would be needed for the proposed pit.

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More Freeways -
Our local response to global warming

December 6, 2007
Eugene Weekly

The Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC) voted Nov. 8 to approve a half-billion-dollar Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) focused largely on building more and more freeways to promote urban sprawl with more and more traffic belching out carbon dioxide, the leading cause of global warming.

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[WA] Governor's team recommends 47 ways to cut greenhouse gases

December 5, 2007
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Tolls for busy roadways, higher energy-efficiency standards for new buildings and increased recycling and composting are all top picks for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, as selected by the state's Climate Advisory Team.

Now someone just has to get them done.

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Our energy future isn't spelled L-N-G

The Oregonian
Dec. 03, 2007

If LNG is safe, why were similar proposals turned down by Tijuana, Mexico, and Oxnard and Eureka, Calif.? Why would there be wide exclusion zones around incoming ships that would require shutting down other commerce on the lower Columbia River? Why bring one of the most dangerous ocean-going cargoes across the West Coast's most dangerous bar? Why tempt terrorists with such a vulnerable target entering the West Coast's port with the least amount of security?

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