SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s governor is in favor of removing four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River in Washington state. Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, sent a letter to Washington’s Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee this week, saying she believes it is the best way to increase endangered salmon runs. The Tri-City Herald reported the letter outraged Washington state’s three Republican U.S. House members, who want to keep the dams. The dams generate electricity, provide some irrigation and flood control and allow barges to operate all the way to Lewiston, Idaho. But they are also blamed for killing salmon and steelhead that are migrating to the ocean or back to their spawning grounds.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to fund 11,000 miles of strategic fuel breaks in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah in an effort to help control wildfires. Fuel breaks are intended to create breaks in vegetation that slow a blaze’s progress and help protect firefighters, communities and natural resources. The Oregonian reported Saturday that wildfires are becoming bigger and more frequent across the Great Basin states. Between 2009 and 2018, more than 13.5 million acres of BLM land burned in the project area. Some scientists debate the effectiveness of fuel breaks, raising questions about whether these efforts are worth funding.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A three-member federal commission, all appointed by President Donald Trump, has on its agenda a controversial proposed natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal in Oregon. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had been expected to make a decision Thursday on the project but instead put it on its agenda for Feb. 20. If the commission approves, it could be litigated by the state and residents opposed to the mega-project. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has already denied a water quality certification for the Jordan Cove natural gas export project proposed by Pembina, a Canadian energy company.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer who gained fame by representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump has been convicted of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike. The verdict against Michael Avenatti was returned Friday by a Manhattan federal jury. It followed a three-week trial in which prosecutors claimed Avenatti made threats to use his media access to hurt Nike’s reputation unless the company paid him up to $25 million. Avenatti did not testify, but his lawyers said he was following the wishes of an amateur youth basketball league director who wanted him to force Nike to fix its culture. Sentencing was scheduled for June. Avenatti’s lawyer says his client was disappointed by the outcome.