Senate Energy Bill: Central Oregon Impact | Bent

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Senate Energy Bill: Central Oregon Impact

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 3:53 PM

The Energy and Water Appropriations bill that passed the Senate today contains provisions to enhance the endangered spotted frog in the upper Deschutes River basin.  The bill supported by both Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley contains a provision that urges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to provide additional funds for the WaterSmart program to fund projects that will help irrigation districts comply with the Endangered Species Act and support collaborative approaches to reduce conflict, including litigation.

According to Wyden and Merkley, "The WaterSmart program could support the collaborative process that is underway within Central Oregon to conserve water, improve the habitat of the spotted frog and keep Central Oregon family farms in business."

Other key provisions of the bill provide $48 million for small port improvements along the coast, $250 million for deep draft harbor improvements, $45 million for inland ports, and $23.5 million for navigation maintenance.  

The bill also contains $10 million for Oregon communities to use toward deploying more electric vehicles.  

The next step is to merge the Senate bill with a House bill in order to be passed and signed into law.  
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