The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Carbon tax on Washington ballot

October 31, 2018 --

By Wall Street Journal Editorial,

If Democrats retake Congress in November, a national carbon tax is likely to be part of their agenda. A referendum in Washington state next month is a test of public support.

Two years ago nearly 60% of Washington voters rejected a ballot initiative to impose a “revenue neutral” carbon tax. Green groups opposed the referendum because it wouldn’t generate money for environmental largess. Businesses said it would destroy jobs and increase energy prices, which is true.

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Ag group says Yes on 103 & 104

October 30, 2018 --

From Oregonians for Food and Shelter

As we face increasing challenges in Oregon, it can be easy to become discouraged with the entire political process. It can feel like rural Oregon is forgotten, and that there’s no way to make a difference. Fortunately, that can’t be further from the truth. From legislative races, to the contest for Governor, your vote can make an impact. There are also several important ballot measures that will be on the ballot in November that can greatly shape what legislation we see in 2018.

Yes on Measure 103 – Constitutional amendment that would prohibit taxes on groceries.  By voting YES on 103, your family’s groceries will always be TAX FREE! Learn more at

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Energy tax scandal results in $13M give back

October 29, 2018 --

By Oregon Attorney General

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the State of Oregon received $13 million in a major settlement with both solar developer Tesla Energy Solutions (formerly known as SolarCity) and its accounting firm, Novogradac & Company LLP. The settlement resolves allegations that SolarCity and Novogradac together submitted false applications to the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), resulting in more than $10 million in unjustified Business Energy Tax Credits (BETC).

“The BETC program was meant to channel public funds to help local businesses, create clean energy jobs, and stimulate the economy during a period of economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, some companies abused the program,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “In this case, we have been able to claw millions of tax dollars back from those who sought to cheat the system.”

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Ranchers: More oversight of lab-grown fake meat

October 26, 2018 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association,

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will highlight the food safety and product labeling expertise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during a two-day public meeting on lab-grown fake meat.

The public meeting, hosted jointly by USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), takes place October 23-24. The meeting agenda lists a wide range of topics for consideration, including potential production hazards, food labeling, and marketing claims.

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Big legal victory for our forests, timber

October 24, 2018 --

American Forest Resource Council,

Environmentalist groups have dropped their challenge to the Quartz Project on the Umpqua National Forest after failing to obtain an injunction against the project in federal court. On October 11, United States District Court Judge Michael McShane denied the groups’ motion for a preliminary injunction. This is a significant victory for active forest management on a landscape badly in need of restoration.

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Ranchers v. Wolves

October 22, 2018 --

Robyn H. Smith
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association,
Oregon’s Beef Blog

Ted Birdseye, a Southern Oregon rancher, is starting to feel like he’s destined to be involved in the wolf debate. The problem started in January, when Birdseye had three confirmed calf kills in a period of eight days. Later, he had two bulls as unconfirmed kills, and most recently, in September, the Rogue pack attacked and killed one of his Tibetan mastiff guard dogs just 600 yards from his house.

The Rogue pack has 7-8 wolves, led by infamous male wolf, OR-7. This pack has taken home-base on Birdseye’s 276-acre property, 30 miles south of Crater Lake. “Why chase elk when they have an easy source of protein right here? They work their prey like header and heeler dogs; run them down and wear them out,” said Birdseye.

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Trump’s ethanol rule change

October 19, 2018 --

Wall Street Journal editorial board,

In the movie “Field of Dreams,” someone asks the lead character played by Kevin Costner if this is heaven? No, he says, “it’s Iowa.” But it is political heaven if you’re a corn farmer who sells to ethanol refiners, as President Trump is proving this week with one more favor for the fuel made with corn and your tax dollars.

“And my Administration is protecting ethanol, all right? That’s what you want to hear,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Iowa on Tuesday, and give him points for political candor. Mr. Trump then announced that his Administration will now allow fuel with 15% ethanol to be sold all year long. The Clean Air Act sets standards for fuel volatility, and E15 hasn’t been allowed in the summer because it can cause smog. Most blends contain 10% of ethanol.

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Wildfire: $512M damage. 2000 tons grapes ruined.

October 17, 2018 --

By Oregon Family Farm Association,

Northwest Interagency Coordination Center data pegs the total cost of the summer wildfire at $512 million a new state record. Oregon had a total of 1,880 fires that burned through 846,411 acres or 1,322 square miles. The popular Oregon Shakespeare festival lost $2 million in cancelled performances and had to lay off 15 staff members.

A California winery canceled contracts to purchase at least 2,000 tons of grapes grown in Southern Oregon because of what it referred to as contamination by “smoke taint” from last summer’s wildfires, according to an Oct. 3 article by George Plaven in The Capital Press.

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Drones and agriculture

October 16, 2018 --

By Oregon Association of Nurseries,

The popularity of drones, aka unmanned aerial vehicles or systems (UAVs/UASs), has dramatically increased over the past decades.

Like global positioning (GPS) technology, walkie-talkies and Jeeps, drones initially were developed for military use. Although the U.S. Air Force’s Predator and Reaper drones continue to appear on the evening news, and as a plot device in action movies, it is not likely that one will whirl into your life from the hobbyist market.

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Sham energy company bilked 50 investors for $2.3M

October 10, 2018 --

By US Attorney Oregon District,

Theodore B. Holbrook, 37, and George J. Arauz, Jr., 45, both of Gresham, Oregon, were sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for defrauding 50 investors of nearly $2.5 million using a sham energy technology start-up company. Holbrook and Arauz were also ordered to pay more than $2.3 million each in restitution and will be on supervised release for three years after completing their prison sentences.

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