Morning Roundup: Groups question oil influence; Biz questions Superfund plan

Groups ask if the oil industry influences politics, while businesses question Willamette Superfund plan.

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Dirty money. Since the passage of the Clean Fuels bill in March, which works to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels, environmental and citizen groups have posed a question that seems like a no brainer: Does the oil industry influence politics? Now comes a new analysis claiming opponents of the bill, mostly fossil fuel companies, spent 10 times more than environmental organizations on lobbying connected to the Clean Fuels bill. A coalition of 35 citizen and enviornmental groups is holding forums around the state to discuss the issue. Read more from the Statesman Journal.


Tip free. Always on trend, Portland restaurants are beginning to identify as “gratuity free.” Two more restaurants (Navarre and Luce) announced the no-tipping policy this week, joining the likes of Le Pigeon and Farm Spirit. Prices on the menu will increase, but as Willamette Week reports, additional revenue will be distributed to the employees rather than the owner’s pockets.

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Flawed proposal. Businesses say the data used to plan the Willamette River Superfund clean-up is possibly outdated, meaning the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan — which was released last week — would require  revisions. The EPA is currently holding a 60-day comment period, after which a decision to reevaluate the proposal can be made. Read more from the Portland Business Journal.

Home costs continue to increase. The average home sale price in Portland has broken the $400,000 mark. Inventory in the area remains at a low 1.4%, which has only added to the increasing home prices. The Oregonian has more.

Anemic growth. Oregon’s unemployment rate is stagnant. Only 1,200 jobs were added to the marketplace in May, down from the 5,300 a month over the past year. The rate holds at 4.5%. Read more from the Portland Tribune.


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Historic deal. A Boeing deal to sell 100 commercial passenger plans to Iran is close to completion. The $17 billion deal would be the biggest sale of U.S. goods to Iran since economic sanctions were lifted in January. A formal announcement addressing the terms is expected today. The Washington Post has more. 

No interest. The Federal Reserve will likely maintain current interest rates, as it considers the impacts of Britain’s potential exit from the European Union. The lending rate was increased in December for the first time in 10 years, and another increase has been expected as the economic forecast continues to improve, but current uncertainty has delayed that announcement. A U.S. hiring slow down is also a concern. Read more from Reuters.