Federal court to review Moda suit, Coos County pushes against LNG pipeline and PGE caves to public pressure.
Moda lawsuit headed to federal appeals court
Moda Health Plan won $210 million in a suit against the federal government for money owed under the ACA. The U.S. Department of Justice is appealing that judgement, the Portland Business Journal reports. Moda was owned money under the “risk corridors” program, which promised to mitigate lost funds as a result of ACA implementation. Health insurers nationwide are owed between $6 billion and $15 billion.
Coos County fighting LNG Project
The county is considering a ballot measure this month to block the Jordan Cove natural gas project, OPB reports. The pipeline has federal support and was recently resubmitted for approval by project owner Veresen. Energy regulators denied permits for the project last year. The local ballot measure bans fossil fuel transport on the county, except when its for local use.
PGE may cave to public pressure, opt against new natural gas plant
PGE is considering replacing its Boardman coal plant with two new natural gas plants next to its Carty gas plant in 2020. Public opposition to the plants is strong, and it appears PGE is now considering alternative options, the Portland Tribune reports. PGE’s CEO Jim Piro says he hopes to negotiate short-term power purchases from wind and solar suppliers while keeping the gas plants on the table as a backup.
Cascade-Siskiyou Monument to be reviewed
A second list has been released by the Interior Department including 22 additional national monuments up for review, the Oregonian reports. The review process is a result of an order by President Trump, who says past monument designations should not have happened. The original list of monuments did not include Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou monument, which was expanded by President Obama in January. The new list indicates the Southern Oregon monument will now be reviewed.
Deschutes Brewery is building its own wastewater plant
Bend’s brewery is spending $11.2 million to build its own wastewater treatment facility, the Bend Bulletin reports. The plant will have a 150,000 gallon daily capacity. Deschutes says the decision was based on a $1 million increase in annual wastewater fees. The plant should be complete by the end of 2018.
Marijuana tax revenue not yet distributed
Oregon has collected about $75 million to date in recreational marijuana tax. That revenue hasn’t been distributed to recipients like schools and police agencies, OPB reports. The OLCC needs to be reimbursed for its admin costs before the money can shift bank accounts. Until that happens, agencies will continue to wait for their piece of the pot pie.