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The BP logo. - 

BP has inked a big deal with the Environmental Protection Agency. Beginning next week, the global energy company will be allowed to bid on leases to drill for oil on territory controlled by the U.S. government, including the Gulf of Mexico. In 2012, on the heels of the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP was barred from doing business with the federal agencies. Since then, it has continued to operate ten rigs in the gulf. "The region is extremely important," says Matthew Jurecky, the head of oil and gas research for a consulting firm called Global Data, noting he wasn’t surprised the BP ban was lifted, because he always assumed it was "temporary and conditional."

Plus, NASA is increasingly reliant on private contractors to get goods to and from space. The recent tensions with Russia, and our use of their space technology, has advocates looking towards the private sector for the future of space flight.

Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio