Press Releases

December 13, 2012

Veterans Affairs Department Agrees to GI Bill Housing Allowance Fix for OIT Students

Washington, D.C. - In a good first step toward fairer housing allowances for veterans going to school on the post-9/11 GI bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs is allowing veterans studying at the Oregon Institute of Technology's Wilsonville satellite campus to receive a housing allowance more in line with their cost of living. The move could open the door for GI Bill students at colleges and universities in Oregon and nationwide to be given housing allowances that accurately represent … Continue Reading


December 12, 2012

Department of Energy Awards Grant for Wind Power Demonstration Project Off the Oregon Coast

Portland, OR -Keeping Oregon at the forefront on alternative energy development, the U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it has awarded $4 million for a wind power demonstration project off the Oregon Coast at Coos Bay. The money was awarded to a Washington state firm, Seattle-based Principle Power, which plans to install five semi-submersible floating foundations outfitted with 6-megawatt direct-drive offshore wind turbines. The project will be sited in deep water ten to 15 miles … Continue Reading


December 07, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers to Pentagon: Don’t Put Taxpayers on the Hook for Contractors’ Negligence

Portland, OR - Six members of Oregon's congressional delegation are urging The Pentagon to resist efforts by military contractor Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) to stick American taxpayers with the estimated $100 million bill for the company's negligence in the 2003 poisoning of members of the Oregon National Guard serving in Iraq. "Contractors that put our servicemen and women, as well as innocent civilians, at risk should be held accountable," the letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary … Continue Reading


December 07, 2012

Wyden Statement on Release of Public Interest Declassification Board Report

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement after the release of the Public Interest Declassification Board's report on classification procedures used by the US government: "The balance between the public's right to know and the government's need to keep certain things secret is essential to the preservation of both democracy and national security. However, the tendency of the government to over-classify information can undermine national security and … Continue Reading


December 05, 2012

Statement on Energy Department natural gas export study

Washington, D.C. - Senator Ron Wyden's office issued the following statement Wednesday in response to an Energy Department-commissioned study on the effect of exporting liquefied natural gas: Senator Wyden received this study this afternoon and plans to examine it closely before weighing in on the details. Broadly speaking, the study appears to confirm that exports of LNG will raise the domestic price of natural gas. Senator Wyden is insisting that impacts such as these guide the export … Continue Reading


December 04, 2012

Wyden Amendment to NDAA Forces Pentagon to Disclose Contractor Indemnification Agreements

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that contains an amendment written by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that will require the Pentagon to disclose and justify to Congress any contracts that contain indemnification clauses that hold military contractors harmless of acts of negligence. Last month, a jury ordered defense contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to pay $85 million in damages to troops negligently exposed to toxic … Continue Reading


December 04, 2012

In Letter, Oregon Lawmakers Seek to Have VA’s GI Bill Housing Allowance Calculated Based on Where Veterans Live and Study

Washington, D.C. - Oregon lawmakers wrote to the Veterans Administration to object to regulations which shortchange Oregon veterans going to college under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In a letter to VA Director of Education Services Robert Worley, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) along with Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) urged the VA to change the regulations governing how the Post 9-11 GI Bill housing allowance is paid to reflect the cost of living … Continue Reading


December 04, 2012

Wyden, Isakson Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Morsi to Crack Down on Arms Smuggling into Gaza

Washington, D.C. - Recognizing the role Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi played in brokering the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire last month, 18 U.S. Senators from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to President Morsi urging him to step up efforts to stop arms smuggling through the Sinai and into Gaza that could reignite the conflict between Israel and Hamas. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers urge President Morsi to allow the peace … Continue Reading


November 29, 2012

Bingaman, Wyden, Udall and Markey applaud Interior Department’s Drakes Estero decision

Washington, D.C. - Senators Jeff Bingaman, Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Representative Edward Markey spoke out in support of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement that he will allow the permit for an oyster farm at Drakes Estero to expire on November 30. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee's current chairman, expected incoming chairman, chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee and ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, respectively, applauded the decision, … Continue Reading


November 14, 2012

Wyden Places Hold on Intelligence Authorization Bill

Washington, D.C. - Citing concerns over anti-leak provisions that would inhibit free speech and damage the news media's ability to report on national security issues, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) publicly placed a hold on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, preventing it from passing without serious debate and amendment. "I think Congress should be extremely skeptical of any anti-leaks bills that threaten to encroach upon the freedom of the press, or that would reduce … Continue Reading


November 07, 2012

Wyden statement on U.S. International Trade Commission solar trade ruling

Washington, D.C. - U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement following the U.S. International Trade Commission ruling today confirming that Chinese solar panel imports harm U.S. manufacturers. "It is unfortunate that China still refuses to play by the global trade rules it signed up to over a decade ago. Today's decision by the International Trade Commission enables the government to protect American solar manufacturers from the harm caused by China's illegal trade … Continue Reading


November 02, 2012

Wyden: U.S. should reconsider rubber-stamping LNG exports as part of a 21st-Century energy policy

Washington, D.C. - In response to questions about the impact of trade negotiations on U.S. natural gas exports, U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement: "The provision of the Natural Gas Act that grants automatic approval of natural gas exports to countries that share free trade agreements with the U.S. was adopted before newly-accessible shale gas became a strategic asset for the U.S. This policy needs reconsideration," Wyden said. "It could harm the nation's ability … Continue Reading


November 01, 2012

Wyden, Roe Seek Justice Department Investigation into Pseudoephedrine Tracking Program

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to the U.S. Justice Department today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) raised concerns that the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), a nation-wide program tracking sales of pseudoephedrine, may violate the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA). NPLEx was created as a tool for pharmacies and law enforcement to investigate and crack down on the illegal production of methamphetamine. The lawmakers are seeking an … Continue Reading


October 10, 2012

Wyden statement on Commerce Department’s Chinese solar panel enforcement decision

Washington, D.C. - U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued a statement following the U.S. Commerce Department's decision on counteracting illegal trade practices by Chinese solar panel manufacturers: "I am glad the administration intends to act against cheating by Chinese solar producers, but fear today's ruling leaves a loophole that will enable these companies to sidestep the impacts. That gap exempts panels from tariffs when only a small portion of panels is made outside of China," Senator … Continue Reading


September 27, 2012

Senate and House members call on Commerce Department to stop Chinese solar companies from dodging U.S. trade laws

Washington, D.C. - Eight members of U.S. Congress, led by Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) asked the Commerce Department to close a loophole in its preliminary decision to crack down on illegal trade practices by Chinese solar panel manufacturers, in a letter sent Thursday. House Ways and Means Committee Ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Rep. Diana … Continue Reading


September 26, 2012

Wyden, Merkley, Schrader Announce $4 Million Federal Grant to Wave Energy Test Facility off the Oregon Coast

PORTLAND, OR -- In a move that will further establish Oregon as a leader in alternative energy development, the Department of Energy has awarded a $4 million grant to create a world class, grid-connected ocean energy test facility off the Oregon Coast. The grant announced today by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Kurt Schrader was awarded to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), one of three DOE-sponsored ocean energy centers in the country. … Continue Reading


September 24, 2012

Wyden, Merkley bills block taxpayer money from aiding foreign companies that violate trade rules

Washington, D.C. - Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have introduced two bills to prevent taxpayer money from aiding foreign companies that benefit from illegal trade practices, including many Chinese-manufactured solar panels. "China is enabling solar panels and wind energy property to be sold in the U.S. at below market value due to the illegal subsidies provided by China's government," Wyden said. "Taxpayer money should not be used to buy property that the Department of Commerce … Continue Reading


September 21, 2012

Legislation Ends Discrimination Against Internet Radio in the Digital Marketplace

Washington, D.C. - Since the passage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, Internet Radio providers have been forced to pay royalty rates for the songs they broadcast that are considerably higher than their competitors in this digital marketplace. These unfair and discriminatory royalty rates have stifled innovation, competition and the growth of the music marketplace. In order to ensure fair and consistent treatment for the online radio industry and its competitors, U.S. Senators … Continue Reading


September 13, 2012

Wyden Defends Corvallis Mural as Free Speech, Calls Chinese Attempts to Remove it “a Grave Affront”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter today to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden called Chinese government efforts to remove a mural from a Corvallis building an attempt to limit free speech and a "grave affront." "Limitations on speech and expression are incompatible with fundamental human rights anywhere in the world, and an attempt by your representatives to limit freedom of speech in the United States is a grave affront," Wyden said in a letter to Ambassador … Continue Reading


September 11, 2012

Wyden, Merkley announce Malheur Lumber to postpone closure

Washington, D.C. - U. S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced on Tuesday that Malheur Lumber has agreed to remain open past its planned November closure, thanks to a commitment by the US Forest Service (USFS) to make more timber volume available on the Malheur national forest. In response to requests from Senators Wyden and Merkley, the Governor, county government, and local community groups, Regional Forester Kent Connaughton, who oversees Region 6, including the … Continue Reading

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