Tag Archives: Senator Jeff Merkley

Government Watchdog Agrees to Probe Effects of Offshore Wind Turbines

Following a request from a group of Republican congressmen, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent watchdog, has agreed to conduct an investigation into the environmental effects of offshore wind turbines, which the Biden administration has increasingly supported. The effort was spearheaded by Representative Chris Smith (R., N.J.), who sent a letter to the GAO’s comptroller requesting information about the effects in the North Atlantic Planning Area, which extends from Maine to New Jersey. Of particular interest is whether wind turbines will cause economic and marine-life problems affecting commercial fishing. >click to read< 07:38

Kotek calls for pause on offshore wind turbines

Gov. Tina Kotek is joining a chorus of voices, including tribes and commercial fishermen, urging the Biden administration to slow down its push for floating wind farms in the Pacific Ocean off the state’s southern coast. Regulators are now preparing a draft report outlining where in the areas turbines may be built safely while minimizing harm to fisheries and marine life. Members of the West Coast fishing industry, however, claim that the bureau is ignoring their concerns. They worry that floating offshore wind farms will displace boats from highly productive fishing grounds and could irreversibly damage the California Current ecosystem. >click to read< 09:20

Port of Newport nets $1.2 million grant for new pier construction serving the largest commercial fishing fleet in the state.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the Port of Newport, Oregon, to support the construction of a new pier, serving the largest commercial fishing fleet in the state. ,, Senator Jeff Merkley also acknowledged the grant funding. >click to read< 07:59

Merkley, Wyden, Pacific Coast Members Announce Major Win for Trawlers in Year-End Spending Bill

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, joined by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4), Greg Walden (R-OR-2), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), and Jared Huffman (D-CA-2), today announced a major, bipartisan victory for West Coast trawlers in the 2020 spending bill that Congress is expected to pass this week. The language proposed by Merkley and supported by the other West Coast Senators and Representatives would forgive more than $10 million in accrued loan interest that was forced onto the West Coast groundfishing fleet because of mismanagement by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). >click to read< 16:49

Oregon and California Senators seek fishery disaster declaration

Oregon’s and California’s senators called for a federal salmon fishery disaster declaration for both states to support economic recovery for coastal communities, in a letter Friday to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The letter from Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein follows a request from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown for the federal government to issue a fisheries disaster declaration to provide economic relief for the loss of coastal jobs due to declining salmon populations. Click here to read the story 17:00

Senators write in support of Newport, Charlestown Coast Guard helicopter bases

MH-65C_DolphinU.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have urged the Office of Management and Budget to include funding for U.S. Coast Guard helicopter bases in Newport and in Charleston, South Carolina, in the Coast Guard’s budget. The Coast Guard had sought to close the helicopter bases last year in a cost-saving move, but several lawmakers, arguing that the bases provide critical search and rescue operations, stepped in to get Congress to keep the bases open. Read the rest here 13:50

Congress votes to keep USCG chopper in Newport Oregon

af5857_bd597e2a1bf84cecafda9cd4c6078a2d_jpg_srz_359_244_75_22_0_50_1_20_0WASHINGTON — Congress has voted to keep the U.S. Coast Guard air facility at Newport open through 2015, Senator Ron Wyden’s office confirmed Wednesday. The Coast Guard was preparing to close the facility, where a search-and-rescue helicopter is stationed, on December 15. Coast Guard budget cuts were blamed for the closure. Read the rest here 19:36