Washington D.C. – Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden
announced today that the Department of Agriculture has awarded $11.85 million
to five counties in Oregon to create clean energy jobs and reduce the risk of
wildfire in Oregon as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The funding will go to projects in Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, and Linn
“During my recent trip through Southern Oregon I saw
firsthand how biomass projects are creating jobs in our forests,” Merkley
said. “This funding from the Recovery Act will move us towards a clean
energy economy and help accomplish the important goal of reducing threats from
promotion of biomass is a key element in two issues vital to Oregonians – jobs
and forest health. That’s why I have been working to promote the use of the
biomass we have right in our backyard,” Wyden said. “This funding will help
breathe new life into our timber-dependent communities and put hardworking
Oregonians back to work thinning overstocked forests and pioneering a promising
Biomass projects receiving funding from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act were nominated by Forest Service regional offices
and selected nationally through a competitive basis on objective
criteria. A listing of the projects that will receive funding can be
According a study from the Pew Charitable Trusts released
this week, clean-energy jobs in Oregon increased by 50.7 percent between 1998
and 2007. The study also found that, across the country, clean energy
jobs are growing nearly 2.5 times as quickly as other jobs.
Information on other Forest Service ARRA projects and
related economic recovery can be found at: http://fs.usda.gov.