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Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) just keeps on moving up the ranks in the U.S. Senate:

Senate Environment and Natural Resources Confirmation Hearing for Lisa Jackson's nomination to be the EPA Admistrator. Senator Merkley
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley announced Tuesday he will chair the Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee created out of the Senate committee for the environment and public works.

The subcommittee will oversee the creation of jobs and economic opportunity through the deployment of sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, energy efficiency and other clean energy practices. The group will handle federal investments in green technologies that reduce carbon emissions including advancements in energy efficiency and conservation and renewable power.

Merkley has been a champion for the cleantech industry bringing forward bills to support the electric vehicle industry and backing SolarWorld's claim regarding unfair trade practices in the solar industry. - Sustainable Business Oregon, 2/12/13

This is great news indeed!  By the way, Merkley will be holding some more Town Hall meetings next Monday:

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley has scheduled town hall meetings Monday in Prineville, Bend and Madras, according to a news release from his office.

The first meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Crook County High School cafeteria in Prineville.

The second meeting has been set for 1:30 p.m. at Hollinshead Barn, 1235 N.E. Jones Road, in Bend.

The third meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the Jefferson County Senior Center in Madras. - Bend Bulletin, 2/12/13

You can contact Merkley's office here for more details:

And in case you're wondering, here's what Merkley is hoping to hear from the President's State of the Union speech tonight:

So, in tonight's State of the Union, here is what I want to hear from the President:

First, tell Congress to end the budget games afflicting America. We need to set aside for a year the sequester scheduled for March that will knock our economy back even further. Replace it by closing corporate loopholes.

Second, use that year to get back to the regular budget and appropriation rhythm so we aren't careening from crisis to crisis.

Third, lay out a 10-yr plan that will steadily close the vast bulk of the difference between our revenue, which is at 16% of GDP, and our spending, which is at 23% of GDP. Deficits need to shrink and shrink steadily, but without the austerity shocks that are undermining economies throughout Europe.

Fourth, lay out the five jobs bills that will have the biggest punch in putting America back to work. While many corporate profits have soared and Wall Street has hit an all-time high, real people and small businesses are still suffering. There is no better program of any kind than a living-wage job!

In short, Mr. President, in tonight's speech, focus on jobs. Urge Congress to abandon policies that we know will shrink our economy, and present a plan for putting America back to work. - Huffington Post, 2/12/13

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Koscadia, PDX Metro, and Daily Kos Oregon.

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