Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

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SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

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SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

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SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

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SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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U.S. Senate Defeats Plan to Eliminate Billions of Dollars in Big Oil Tax Subsidies

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Posted June 1, 2011

Interview with Ben Schreiber, climate and energy tax analyst with Friends of the Earth, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Last month, the U.S. Senate -- including three Democrats -- defeated a proposal by President Obama that would have eliminated tax breaks for the nation’s five largest oil companies: Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and Conoco-Phillips. Opponents asserted that the loss of federal subsidies would cost jobs. Obama and his allies had urged passage of the legislation, maintaining that while Big Oil is making record profits and Americans are paying around $4 a gallon at the pump, they shouldn’t also be required to support these companies with their tax dollars.

The Closing Big Oil Loopholes Act was defeated when all but two GOP senators prevented a floor vote under the Senate’s filibuster rules that requires 60 votes to stop. If passed, the bill would have repealed an estimated $21 billion in tax subsidies across 10 years.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Ben Schreiber, climate and energy tax analyst with Friends of the Earth. He describes some of the tax breaks fossil fuel industries have been receiving for decades and explains how renewable energy sources have not caught up. Wind energy, for example is getting $6 billion in subsidies over five years, while tax breaks for solar are inconsistent, not allowing for planning and implementation of more projects.

BEN SCHREIBER: The president's budget has identified almost $50 billion in tax subsidies for oil and gas companies over the next five years. Four billion of that is for coal -- much less for coal than there is for oil and gas, which get the lion's share. The Menendez bill that was defeated in the Senate actually only went after a small fraction of that money -- just tax subsidies to the top five oil and gas companies, like Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, etc. That would have saved taxpayers slightly over $20 billion over ten years, so a little bit less than half of what we could have saved in the President's proposal, and the truth is there's even more money to be had. One of the huge things that's not in the President's budget is royalty-free leases in the Gulf of Mexico. So right now we are giving oil and gas companies access to American taxpayer-owned oil and gas and allowing them to extract that oil and gas and not pay any royalties to the American taxpayer, so they're getting that resource for free. That is worth tens of billions of dollars; it will end up costing taxpayers upward of $50 billion.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Hydro-fracturing, or "fracking" is all the rage now, which is where companies use mixes of chemicals they don't have to release to the public and enormous amounts of water to access natural gas locked into shale rock formations. It's exploding recently, because it's a domestic energy source. Do you know what kind of subsidies they get?

BEN SCHREIBER: So, natural gas gets production tax credit as well, but the biggest danger right now with natural gas now is there's a movement to pass a whole host of incentives in something called the Natural Gas Act, which would further incentivize natural gas, including dangerous practices like fracking, provide them with incentives to move vehicles so they're powered with natural gas; provide incentives for extracting natural gas, so there's a new proposal to really massively expand the subsidies that are going to natural gas.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Ben Schreiber, what do you know about subsidies for renewables?

BEN SCHREIBER: So, renewables are being subsidized and they should be subsidized. The reality is that renewable energy is not a mature technology and we have not been subsidizing it for nearly a hundred years, like we have for fossil fuels. And so while we do have incentives, like a production tax credit for wind and an investment tax credit for solar, those are relatively new subsidies for an industry that is just coming on-line right now, whereas the subsidies for fossil fuels have been on-line for decades. The other thing that should be noted is that the "renewable subsidy" that is the largest is actually for corn ethanol, which is worth almost six billion dollars a year, for oil companies to actually blend corn ethanol into gasoline. The truth is that corn ethanol is an environmental disaster -- everything from the incredible amount of pollution from the fertilizers used on our corn crops which are then washed down the Mississippi and creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico to the amount of oil that's needed to actually get the fuel to market -- all of those things make corn ethanol an environmental catastrophe, and in many cases has higher greenhouse gas impacts than conventional oil.

There's a production tax credit for wind and other renewables, and what that does is a tax credit per kilowatt hours, so you get a tax credit if you produce wind. The other industries like natural gas, like coal gasification, like nuclear reactors -- they all also have production tax credits. The thing about the wind tax credit is that over its history it's expired several times, so it hasn't created the certainty in the investment environment that some of the other tax credits have for more dirty and dangerous technologies, because those have been on the books for a long time and allow investor certainty in a way that the wind production tax credit has not.

The investment tax credit is for solar energy and it's only for solar energy. So instead of being a per kilowatt hour tax credit which you can only get once you've actually been in production and are actually creating electricity. This allows you to get a tax write-off for your investment in that technology in advance.

Learn more about oil company tax subsidies and the work of Friends of the Earth by visiting our website at

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