Sen. Jeff Merkley Launches Bill To Completely Phase-Out Fossil Fuels In US

Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced climate legislation Thursday to completely phase-out fossil fuels. Called the "100 by 50 Act," it aims to run 100 percent of the country on clean and renewable energy by 2050. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., supported the launch. Mr. President your job is to listen to the scientific community which is virtually unanimous in telling us that weve got to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, he...

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Eric Teel

JPR Live Session: Caitlin Canty

Caitlin Canty delivers her songs with a dusky alto and a 1930’s Recording King guitar. Her breakout record Reckless Skyline features an all-star band on twelve songs that veer nimbly between country ballads and straight-up rockers, dark blues and sparsely arranged folk. Produced by Jeffrey Foucault, Reckless Skyline garnered glowing praise from NPR, among others. The San Francisco Chronicle lauded Canty’s, “ casually devastating voice and unshakable poise, ” and her “ easy way with folk, blues and country motifs. ”

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Wikimedia

Water Call Roils Klamath Basin In Wet Year

A lot of rain and snow fell over the winter. But that does not mean a year without water controversy in the Klamath Basin. The Klamath Tribes recently exercised their senior water right in the basin to call for more water to stay in certain streams, potentially withdrawing irrigation water from thousands of acres of agricultural land. Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry tells us the water is needed to duplicate flood conditions that are a natural part of the ecosystem. At the same time, ag groups filed suit against the federal government for its plans for water allocations to wildlife refuges. The Klamath Water Users Association is in the middle of much of this.

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California Is On Its Way To Having An Avocado Crop Year-Round

Not my avocados! President Trump's tough talk on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada has raised many questions — including how such a move might negatively affect the flow of beloved produce to the U.S. Like the avocado. Americans ate 2 billion pounds of avocados last year, two-thirds of which were imported – mostly from Mexico. That's because avocados grow year-round in Mexico's climate – but not in California's. But researchers in the Golden State —...

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As Trump And Congress Flip-Flop On Health Care, Insurers Try To Plan Ahead

As Republicans in Congress debate changes to the Affordable Care Act, insurance executives across the country are trying to make plans for next year. Companies that sell policies on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, face fast-approaching deadlines to inform states about what plans they want to sell, and what they intend to charge. "Insurance companies need to file rates in 2 1/2 months," says Tom Policelli , CEO of Minuteman Health, which sells...

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Albert Herring,CCby-SA2.0,wikimedia curid=29806162

The days of massive clearcuts of massive trees are largely over, at least on public land. 

And in this age of smaller-diameter trees, there's plenty of talk of biomass.  Think of biomass as the leftovers... woody material too small to turn into lumber, but still big enough to burn. 

The big question is whether it burns in the forest, or burns in a boiler, creating energy. 

Both the federal Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry have programs that guide and encourage the use of biomass, as an economic development tool for rural communities. 

Beatrice Murch/Wikimedia

Eden Collinsworth wrote a book for Chinese people on what to expect when interacting with Western business people. 

Now she feels compelled to understand the way Westerners act to each other (if that can, in fact, be understood). 

Collinsworth's new book is Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex and Business.  It examines what she charitably calls the "flexibility" in morals demonstrated in today's America. 

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Apr 21, 2017

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The future of a $300 million Oregon ballot measure hangs in the balance as lawmakers wrestle with how to close a big budget shortfall.

Measure 98 passed last November with 66 percent of the vote. It calls for investing $800 per Oregon high school student for three purposes: career education, college preparation and dropout prevention.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Legislature’s top budget writers released a list of potential cuts they say they'll have to make if lawmakers don’t find new money to fill a $1.6-billion budget shortfall.

Related: Subscribe to the "OPB Politics Now" podcast.

Washington state lawmakers sent a distracted driving crackdown to the governor's desk late Wednesday. And lawmakers in Oregon are steadily steering their own version of this through legislative committees.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered a two-month hiring freeze for state government jobs. The Democrat is ordering state agencies not to fill any job vacancies during the months of May and June.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife/Public Domain

With carbon in the atmosphere now above 400 parts per million, reducing carbon emissions on the surface is no longer enough. 

What's needed is a Drawdown, also the title of a book laying out and ranking 100 ways to achieve a reduction in atmospheric carbon. 

Some you'd expect, like protecting tropical forests at number 5.  But reducing food waste at number 3, and educating girls at number 5? 

We have many questions for Katharine Wilkinson, the senior writer on the project. 

NASA

Almost 50 years later, we're still celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd. 

Good thing, too... it means the Earth is still here to celebrate. 

How will you observe the day, if at all?  We invited event organizers from several regional celebrations to visit with details. 

Library of Congress

It's one of the less pleasant words in our language: eviction. 

Its meaning is worse than the sound: getting removed from the place where you live. 

And Matthew Desmond analyzed how eviction is used and abused in one American city, Milwaukee, in his book Evicted.  The book won a Pulitzer Prize last week. 

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