Press Releases

November 13, 2014

Marine Hydropower Bill Passes Committee

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced that his bill to encourage development of electricity from the water power in oceans, rivers and lakes took a step forward when it passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. The Marine and Hydrokinetic Renewable Energy Act of 2014 (S. 1419) facilitates marine hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that generate emissions-free renewable energy from ocean tides and waves, and the free-flowing water in rivers and lakes. … Continue Reading

November 10, 2014

Wyden and Oregon Library Association urge FCC to protect net neutrality

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Oregon Library Association President Candice Watkins, in an op-ed in the East Oregonian, call for Oregonians to join in their fight to ensure equal access to the Internet. The governing principle of the Internet to date has been net neutrality - bits are bits, and Internet service providers should not prioritize content delivery based on ability to pay. Net neutrality ensures that all Internet users can seek out and find information from all points of … Continue Reading

October 31, 2014

Wyden: CIA Demand To Black Out Torture Report Details Would Be Unprecedented

Washington, D.C. -The Central Intelligence Agency's call to black out all pseudonyms from the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture would be unprecedented - and represents an unacceptable effort to obscure key facts, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said today. "This report is about mistakes, misdeeds and falsehoods that were repeated over a period of years. If you don't know whether they were repeated by different officials each time, or by the same officials over and over, you really … Continue Reading

October 28, 2014

Merkley, Wyden and Schrader Persuade Coast Guard to Delay Newport Helicopter Closure

Portland, OR - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Kurt Schrader today spoke with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and got assurance from him that the November 30th date previously set for the closure of the Newport helicopter facility would be extended to December 15th. The Coast Guard agreed that this additional time would allow for a more extensive and thorough discussion of the risks to recreational fishing, commercial fishing and other activities on the Central … Continue Reading

October 22, 2014

Wyden, Merkley, Schrader, DeFazio, Blumenauer and Bonamici to Coast Guard: Keep Newport Air Facility Open Through Crabbing Season

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined today with Oregon Representatives Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici to call on the U.S. Coast Guard to hold off on its abrupt decision to shut down its Newport Air Facility and to keep open this important piece of the coastal safety net through the busy crabbing season. The Coast Guard with little notice announced this month that it plans to close the Newport Air Facility by December 1. At a … Continue Reading

October 22, 2014

Wyden Asks Energy Department to Study Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D- Ore., today asked the Department of Energy to follow through on a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office to study the size and make-up of the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve - the largest emergency supply of crude oil in the world. In a report released Monday, the GAO noted that increased domestic crude oil production, combined with decreasing net oil imports as well as industry developments and related public policies … Continue Reading

October 22, 2014

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Urge VA Secretary To Oversee Selection of Next Roseburg VA Director

Washington, DC- Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Congressman Peter DeFazio today to urge VA Secretary Bob McDonald to oversee the selection of the next director for the VA Roseburg Healthcare System (VARHS). Because of long-standing concerns about management, unacceptable delays in care, and allegations of unethical practices at VARHS, the Oregon lawmakers asked in a joint letter that the VA Secretary personally "oversee this critical hiring decision." In their letter to … Continue Reading

October 15, 2014

Merkley and Wyden Announce $8.4 Million to help Oregonians Get Back to Work

Washington DC - Today, Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Oregon $8.4 million to help get unemployed Oregonians back to work. The grant awarded to Worksystems Inc. is part of the Ready to Work Partnership and will help recruit, train, support and place individuals who have been struggling with long-term unemployment. "Getting Oregonians to work is my number one priority and this money does exactly that," said Senator Merkley. … Continue Reading

October 08, 2014

Wyden, Merkley, Schrader, DeFazio, Blumenauer and Bonamici Ask Coast Guard to Keep Newport Air Facility Open

Portland, OR - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley were joined by Oregon Representatives Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici today to urge the U.S. Coast Guard to reverse its sudden decision to close its air facility in Newport. In a letter to Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, the Oregon lawmakers stressed the safety implications of closing the facility, writing that the unilateral decision to permanently shut Newport's doors this … Continue Reading

September 30, 2014

Wyden, Markey Press Administration to Ensure Public Safety in Fracking Rule

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Ed Markey, D- Mass., and 10 other senators today pressed for greater transparency and strong safety standards while the administration considers a new rule for hydraulic fracturing methods on public lands, in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget today. The senators called for public disclosure of all chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, "strong and consistent" standards for the construction and maintenance of hydraulic … Continue Reading

September 30, 2014

Whistleblower Protection Act Intended to Shield Whistleblowers from Agency Rules Undermining the Law

WASHINGTON - In an amicus brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives argued that Congress intended for whistleblowers who are federal government employees to be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act for making disclosures, unless explicitly prohibited by statute. Senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Grassley and Representatives Darrell Issa, Elijah Cummings, Blake Farenthold and Stephen F. Lynch signed an amicus brief in … Continue Reading

September 30, 2014

Wyden, Barrasso: Forest Service Photo Rule Must Not Trample First Amendment Rights

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., today called for the immediate withdrawal of a misguided U.S. Forest Service rule, which would require permits and fees - potentially up to $1,500 - from reporters and bloggers who take photographs or videos in wilderness areas. In a joint letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Wyden and Barrasso wrote that the proposed rule clearly violates the Constitution's First Amendment protections for press … Continue Reading

September 29, 2014

Wyden, Merkley, Feinstein and Boxer Call on DOT to Provide More Hazmat Train Information to First Responders

Washington, D.C. - Oregon's U.S. Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, were joined today by California's U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, in pressing the Department of Transportation to require that first responders be notified before trains carrying 20 or more carloads of crude oil, ethanol or other flammable liquids travel through their communities. In 15 pages of comments submitted to the rulemaking docket, the senators identified shortfalls and inconsistencies in DOT's … Continue Reading

September 23, 2014

Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Introduces Bill to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Board

Washington, D.C. - In an effort to significantly improve the oversight and accountability of the nation's intelligence community, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spearheaded a bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen the government's privacy protection board. The legislation gives the oversight board greater ability to carry out its function of balancing the government's national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the … Continue Reading

September 17, 2014

Senators Commemorate 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wilderness Lands

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D- Ore., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., today commemorated 50 years of bipartisan efforts to preserve public lands through the Wilderness Act by introducing a Senate resolution that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Act's passage and its continued importance in protecting millions of acres across America. First passed by Congress in 1964 with overwhelming popularity - by a vote of 73 to 12 in the Senate and 373 to 1 in the House of Representatives … Continue Reading

September 16, 2014

Wyden Announces O&C Act Markup

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today secured a commitment to mark up his O&C Act of 2014 in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on November 13. Energy Committee Chair Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., issued an announcement Tuesday afternoon that she would hold a markup of a number of public lands bills, leading off with Senator Wyden's O&C legislation. Senator Wyden: "It is terrific news and strong leadership from Senator Landrieu that she is pushing … Continue Reading

August 15, 2014

Wyden: Bring Privacy Protections to the Digital Age

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called for a renewed commitment to privacy and innovation in the 21st century, by reforming outdated laws undermine Americans' Constitutional privacy rights, in a speech at TechFestNW today in Portland. Wyden attacked the principle that sharing information with businesses waives the 4th Amendment protections of Americans' personal information - an idea known as the "third-party doctrine" - which has become painfully obsolete in the digital age. "It … Continue Reading

July 31, 2014

Wyden Statement on Unauthorized CIA Search of Senate Computer Files

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after the Central Intelligence Agency issued a statement confirming the agency's search of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence computer files: "The CIA Inspector General has confirmed what Senators have been saying all along: The CIA conducted an unauthorized search of Senate files, and attempted to have Senate staff prosecuted for doing their jobs," Wyden said. "Director Brennan's claims to the contrary were … Continue Reading

July 30, 2014

Wyden: Fix Wildfire Funding This Week

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., took to the Senate Floor today to press Congress on the urgent need to pass an emergency funding bill that would provide additional fire funding to fight the catastrophic wildfires ripping through the western United States. Wyden described the conditions in Oregon, where wildfires are currently burning almost 500,000 acres, following visits to the Medford Interagency Fire Center and the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland, … Continue Reading

July 30, 2014

Senate Resolution Marks Day to Honor Whistleblowers

WASHINGTON - A Senate Resolution designating July 30, 2014 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day has passed the Senate. The resolution was sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, who will be the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus when it begins next year. The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law enacted on July 30, 1778. The records of the Continental Congress show that the original resolution … Continue Reading

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