09-23-2021  1:16 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

Cascadia Names New Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Bukhosi Dube will lead innovative “integrative health” model

How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

Washington Governor Inslee Asks Feds for Medical Staffing Help

Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

NEWS BRIEFS

Civil Rights Organizations Respond to Congressional Failure on Policing Reform

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Seattle Mayor Extends COVID Eviction Moratoriums

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Oregon House and Senate Democrats Condemn Newberg School Staff Member's Racist Conduct and Use of Blackface

A staff member at Mabel Rush Elementary School in the Newberg School District attended work on Friday in blackface ...

New Plaque Honors Black Pioneer Merchant A.H. Francis

Throughout the mid-1800s, Francis was an active abolitionist, using his position to fight for Black people from western New York to...

IPAC Announces September 21 Kickoff of the Portland Peace Initiative

A new coalition intends to show how peace is possible in Portland ...

Oregon school board won't fire teacher refusing to wear mask

REDMOND, Ore. (AP) — A school board in Redmond, Oregon, has rejected a district recommendation to fire a teacher for refusing to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Redmond board members were told this was the first time an Oregon...

Washington justices vacate 46-year sentence for teen killer

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a 46-year sentence for a man who killed his friend’s little sister when he was 17, finding the punishment focused more on retribution than rehabilitation. Timothy Haag of Longview was initially...

Boston College hosts Missouri in juicy ACC-SEC matchup

BOSTON (AP) — ACC vs. SEC. It’s a juicy interconference matchup when Boston College (3-0) hosts Missouri (2-1) on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. BC, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will be hosting the first Southeastern Conference school since...

College Football Picks: Neutral sites for 2 ranked matchups

Last week, college football gave fans one of its tastiest, and unfortunately rare, treats when Auburn visited Penn State. Good teams. Great setting. Entertaining game. What college football is all about. This week, not so much. The...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Louisiana state trooper charged in pummeling of Black man

A former Louisiana State Police trooper has been charged with a civil rights violation for pummeling a Black motorist 18 times with a flashlight — the first criminal case to emerge from federal investigations into troopers' beatings of at least three Black men. A grand jury on...

Former Louisiana State Police trooper indicted on federal civil rights charge for beating Black man with flashlight

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Former Louisiana State Police trooper indicted on federal civil rights charge for beating Black man with flashlight....

'Vaccine apartheid': Africans tell UN they need vaccines

The inequity of COVID-19 vaccine distribution came into sharp focus Thursday as many of the African countries whose populations have little to no access to the life-saving shots spoke at the U.N.'s annual meeting of world leaders. Some called for member states to relax intellectual property rights...

ENTERTAINMENT

Britney Spears court filing says conservatorship should end

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears said in a court filing Wednesday that she agrees with her father that the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money since 2008 should be terminated. The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court from Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart...

Mayim Bialik's 'Jeopardy!' goal: maintaining its integrity

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Owen Wilson, Sudeikis, Malek, Kardashian West to host 'SNL'

NEW YORK (AP) — Owen Wilson, Kim Kardashian West, Rami Malek and Jason Sudeikis are lined up to host the first four episodes of “Saturday Night Live” this fall. NBC announced Wednesday that Wilson, who is starring in the upcoming film “The French Dispatch,” will host...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?

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The AP Interview: Don't isolate the Taliban, Pakistan urges

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Be realistic. Show patience. Engage. And above all, don't isolate. Those are the pillars...

The jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself is crumbling

NEW YORK (AP) — Inside the notorious federal jail in Lower Manhattan, small chunks of concrete fall from the...

A Polish bishop punished over abuse cover-up has died

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Edward Janiak, a retired Roman Catholic bishop from Poland punished this year by the...

UK police probe killing of woman walking alone in London

LONDON (AP) — British police investigating the killing of a 28-year-old woman in London said Thursday they are...

Kremlin critics to contest online voting in Duma election

MOSCOW (AP) — Politicians and activists who lost to Kremlin-backed candidates in Russia's parliamentary election...

Stephen Ohlemacher the Associated Press

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is taking up a bill Tuesday that would repeal about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House negotiate a deal later this year to increase the government's ability to borrow.

The evening vote is expected to fail. But Democrats hope to build their case to include the measure in a deficit-reduction package being negotiated by key lawmakers and the Obama administration. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding deficit reduction as part of deal to increase the government's ability to borrow and avoid an unprecedented default on U.S. Treasury bonds.

The oil companies are "doing just fine at every level of their business, and we're giving them a taxpayer subsidy?" said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "This is a place to start."

The heads of the five oil companies defended the tax breaks at a Senate hearing last week, saying they just want the same tax advantages enjoyed by other industries. The companies are Shell Oil Co., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP America and Chevron Corp.

Together, they logged profits totaling $36 billion during the first quarter. The Democrats say that with profits that high, the big oil companies wouldn't miss tax breaks that average $2 billion a year.

Senate Republicans and some Democrats oppose the tax increases. They note that the bill would do nothing to lower gas prices.

"With Americans looking for real relief, symbolic votes like this that aim to do nothing but pit people against each other will only frustrate the public even more," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "Americans aren't interested in scapegoats. They just want to pay less to fill up their cars."

A GOP measure designed to increase offshore drilling is scheduled for a Senate vote on Wednesday, though it is not expected to pass, either. The GOP bill would direct the secretary of the Interior to conduct previously scheduled offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, Virginia and Alaska.

Republicans argue that their bill would increase domestic oil production which would eventually lead to lower gas prices.

President Barack Obama has directed his administration to ramp up U.S. oil production by extending existing leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast and by holding more frequent lease sales in a federal petroleum reserve in Alaska. The moves, however, are not expected to calm spiraling prices at the pump any time soon.

Gasoline is more than $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. The national average is $3.94 a gallon for regular unleaded, up from $2.87 a gallon a year ago, according to AAA.

Five Democratic senators, led by Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill, asked the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday to investigate "potential price fixing of gasoline by U.S. refiners." The senators said U.S refineries have cut back production even as gas prices rose, increasing their profit margins.

Obama has called for eliminating tax breaks for all oil and gas companies every year since he took office in 2009, a proposal that would raise an estimated $44 billion over the next decade. Lawmakers, including Democrats from oil-producing states, complained that Obama's proposal would raise taxes on many small and medium-sized businesses involved in oil production.

The bill being voted on Tuesday would target only the five largest oil companies, raising about $21 billion over the same period.

The most generous tax break is a deduction available to U.S. manufacturers across industries. Under the provision, oil and gas companies were classified as manufacturers, but their deduction was capped at a lower rate than other industries.

Another subsidy, established in 1913 to encourage domestic drilling, allows oil companies to deduct more quickly the costs of preparing a site for drilling. Another allows oil companies to reduce their American taxes by deducting royalties paid to foreign governments.

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concluded that eliminating the tax breaks would be unlikely to result in higher gasoline prices, which are influenced by a host of factors. The report said eliminating the tax breaks would raise about $1.2 billion in 2012. By comparison, the five oil companies had combined revenues of $1.5 trillion last year.

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