Morning Roundup

Photo credit | Portland General Electric

PGE gets second shot at renewable energy, Gov. Brown to exercise veto power and winter storm relief approved.

Share this article!

Kate Brown’s leadership skills are getting a workout this week. The governor ousted a longtime agency chief and aims to kill a few bills and budget items.

The vetos. Brown intends to veto two bills and four line item appropriations, according to the Statesman Journal. The first bill gave psychologists the ability to prescribe medication. The second established a task force to assist criminals rejoining the workforce. The line items funded SW Capitol Highway safety improvements and projects in Medford.

The ouster. Lynne Saxton has resigned as director of the Oregon Health Authority at the Governor’s behest. Saxton was implicated in an extraordinary scandal involving a communication plan that intended to damage the reputation of one of the state’s coordinating care organizations, FamilyCare Health. The Oregonian has the story.

Sun, as it turns out, melts snow. Remember last winter’s Snowpocalypse? The abundant snowfall wreaked havoc on transportation systems but on the upside yielded a much needed above-normal snowpack. Our current bout of extreme heat is negating those benefits. Parts of the state are at risk for drought conditions, reports OPB.

Speaking of snow, FEMA finally approved disaster relief linked to Oregon’s winter damage. President Trump signed off on federal assistance funds after FEMA originally declined Oregon’s request. The money can be used to repair damage caused by storms between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10. Read more from the Oregonian. 

Overseas SolarWorld division sold. SolarWorld AG offloaded two of its German factories yesterday, the Portland Business Journal reports. Meanwhile, stateside SolarWorld has doubled down on its campaign for protections from foreign competition.

USDA Under Secretary on tour. Ann Bartuska will tour OSU’s Beginning Farmers Apprentice program in Portland tomorrow. “A growing interest in urban agriculture is generating creative approaches to growing fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals in urban settings while also spurring economic development and developing a new generation of farmers,” she said in a press release. 

PUC gives PGE second chance. Portland General Electric’s plans to invest in renewable energy are back on the table. The Public Utility Commission didn’t approve of PGE’s pitch to invest $1 billion in a wind farm but directed the utility to come back in 60 days with a revised proposal. The Portland Business Journal has the story.

From the Magazine: Downtime with Michael Fisher. The director of the VA Portland Health Care System talks about vegan Christmas dinners, health care access and swimming in the ocean with his iPhone.