Peter DeFazio

On Friday the Republican-controlled U.S. House approved a bill for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The vote was 252 in favor, 161 opposed. The pipeline has been stalled by environmental reviews, objections to its route and politics for six years. Oregon's 4th District Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio spoke on the house floor in opposition to the pipeline. DeFazio said exporting Canadian tar sands oil through the pipeline will not reduce U.S. gas prices and raises a number of environmental concerns.

U.S Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon blasted republicans in congress today (Thursday) for passing legislation that will mandate drilling off U.S. coasts and public lands.

As a Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, DeFazio criticized the party line vote to approve H.R. 4899, saying it is the same proposal that passed last year and the year before that and the year before that.

Liam Moriarty, Jefferson Public Radio

The federal legislation that regulates mining for copper, zinc, gold and many other minerals was originally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In ways, the law reflects reflect a 19th century view of natural resources: limitless and there for the taking. Now, a legacy of pollution at tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West is prompting an Oregon Congressman to head a new effort to revise the General Mining Act of 1872.

Chris Cora stands on what used to be a mountaintop in the Umpqua Basin of southern Oregon. Now, it’s essentially a landfill …

Jes Burns

It’s been years in coming.   Officials broke ground on a new Veterans health facility in Eugene Monday afternoon.  

The site of the future Veterans Health Care Center in North Eugene sits within eye shot of I-5.  That’s the same interstate veterans in Lane County now travel long distances on to get health services not provided at the current small clinic in Eugene.    Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio and about 40 students from the University of Oregon are pushing super markets to voluntarily label products containing Genetically Modified Organisms.

The Oregon Legislature and the U.S. Congress continue to debate GMO labeling. The Oregon Student Independent Research Group is taking the discussion directly to grocery stores. Recently, OSPIRG requested Market of Choice voluntarily label products. At the U of O Friday, OSPIRG Spokeswoman Hannah Picknell said so far the super market chain has been receptive.

Karen Richards

The buzz of chainsaws and smell of freshly cut wood in Eugene isn’t only because of recent storms. Thousands of loggers have come to the Lane Events Center for the 76th annual Oregon Logging Conference.

The event is the largest equipment show west of the Mississippi. Organizers are excited to have about 900 registered participants from all over the U.S. as well as several foreign countries. The group’s president, Milt Moran, says an improved economy and a good program helped boost attendance:

http://defazio.house.gov/

4th District Congressman Peter DeFazio praised President Obama for his focus on the need for jobs in his state of the union address. The Springfield Democrat agrees these jobs can come from investments in transportation infrastructure. And, DeFazio says Oregonians who are unemployed need their extended benefits.

Peter DeFazio: "I agree that it’s time for Congress to renew unemployment insurance for Oregonians and Americans who want to work but can't find a job. There are 5 unemployed Oregonians chasing every job in our state."

Rachael McDonald

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio met with unemployed Lane County residents Wednesday at Worksource Lane in Eugene. He's frustrated with fellow lawmakers who allowed federal extended unemployment benefits to expire between Christmas and New Years.

Congressman DeFazio says in Oregon there are an average of at least 5 unemployed people applying for each open position.

More oil is moving along Northwest railways. The Bakken Oil fields of North Dakota are booming. But Bakken oil is explosive at relatively low temperatures. There have been several oil train accidents since the boom began, one of them costing the lives of 47 people in Quebec.

That’s prompted KUOW’s EarthFix team to take a look at how prepared the Northwest is for the rise of oil train traffic. Ashley Ahearn reports.

http://defazio.house.gov/

Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio says he strongly opposes a bill that would give President Obama the authority to fast track U.S. trade deals.

According to DeFazio, fast track authority grants power to the executive branch to negotiate free trade agreements with little congressional input. He says when a free trade agreement is submitted this way, Congress must pass it within 90-days with an up or down vote, no amendments, and limited debate. 

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