U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Portland), recently assigned to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
, has hired Environment Oregon program director Jeremiah Baumann
to be his advisor on energy and environmental issues.
The hire is a coup for Merkley. The freshman senator snags a skilled lobbyist who was heavily involved in passing Oregon's renewable energy standard—the 2007 bill that requires Oregon get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. And Baumann is at the center of debate raging over global warming-related legislation pending in the Oregon Legislature.
"It was a tough choice," says Baumann, 33, who came to Oregon in 2005 from Washington D.C. "But Sen. Merkley sits on the committee that will be writing the legislation relating to climate change."
Baumann says he will join Merkley's Washington staff in about three weeks. He has not yet found a successor at Environment Oregon (formerly OSPIRG).