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Scott Jagow: Let’s move on to oil. The price of oil fell again today to $98 a barrel. It looks like the Gulf oil complex is OK after Hurricane Ike. This week, Congress looks at the drilling issue. Should we open the coastline to more oil exploration? The House will vote on a new energy bill later this week. Here’s Steve Henn.
Steve Henn: The Democrat’s energy bill repeals tax subsidies for Big Oil, expands tax incentives for renewable energy and opens the door to offshore oil drilling 50 miles from the U.S. coast. But before oil companies drill, each coastal state has to give its OK. And Republican Congressman John Peterson says the current bill makes that unlikely.
John Peterson: They took away the royalty sharing for the states.
Right now, in the Gulf of Mexico, the states and the feds each take a slice of those royalties. But under this plan, the feds would get all the money from new wells in the Atlantic and Pacific.
Peterson: Why would a state legislature fight the environmental community to open up drilling when their state doesn’t get rewarded?
Peterson co-authored a competing bi-partisan bill that would have shared those offshore revenues with states allowed for drilling closer to shore and used the federal money to fund alternative energy investments.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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