Morning Roundup

Photo Credit: Oregonian

Portland Mayor to create framework for autonomous vehicles, Rose City considers renewable energy and Oregon regulators call for Comcast investigation.

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Mayor Ted Wheeler encourages an autonomous Portland 

Wheeler says he wants the city to develop a framework for companies developing autonomous vehicles, the Oregonian reports.  Wheeler wants to encourage tech companies to develop the technology here. More details are expected to be announced today.

Portland’s Uber investigation continues

The City Council is investigating whether Uber intentionally misled regulators with the use of Greyball and if the ride-share company discriminated against people based on their location, OPB reports. The investigation will be complete April 28. The city is still waiting for documents and information from Uber, which has until Friday to respond. One of those documents includes a playbook Uber reportedly created to demonstrate how Greyball could be used to evade regulators.

Portland to consider renewable natural gas commitment

Commissioner Nick Fish is proposing a $12 million commitment to convert waste methane from the sewage treatment process into renewable natural gas, the Portland Tribune reports. The funding would come from sewer ratepayers. The proposal includes selling the natural gas as a replacement for 1.34 million gallons of diesel fuel in trucks. The sales would generate more than $3 million in revenue annually.

OB Original Blog: Bumpy road for coal-to-clean energy plan

The lead proponent of Oregon’s Clean Electricity Plan said the legislation, designed to wean the state off coal-fired energy, has not met her expectations.

Oregon cable regulators ask for Comcast investigation 

Regulators from Multnomah and Washington counties, as well as Milwaukie and Eugene, asked the Oregon Department of Justice to look into Comcast’s billing practices, which might violate consumer protection laws, the Oregonian reports. Comcast has raised subscriber rates when fees for local broadcast channels and national sports networks go up, despite signed contracts that used to protect consumers from rate hikes.

Portland startup signs deal with MasterCard

PayRange is partnering with MasterCard to provide a mobile payment option for vending machines, the Portland Business Journal reports. PayRange manufactures retrofitted technology to allow vending machines to accept mobile payments. As of May 1, MasterCard’s Masterpass will be available on the PayRange app.

Unemployment rate drops again

Oregon’s rate now rests at 3.8%, the Register Guard reports. The rate of unemployment last year at this time was 4.9%. Construction is the fastest growing sector so far this year, adding 9.2%, or 8,200 jobs, to its workforce.