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SPOTLIGHT

1. POLITICS:

Alaska governor proposes 'more competitive' flat tax for oil

Alaska state officials last night fired the first shots in what promises to be a heated battle over oil-production tax reform in the 2013 legislative session, with Gov. Sean Parnell (R) calling for a flat 25 percent state oil tax and state Democratic leaders warning that the proposal would slash state revenue by $2 billion each year and result in huge budget deficits.

2. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING:

Republican senators slam EPA's delay on Pavillion report

U.S. EPA is facing renewed pressure from Capitol Hill to re-evaluate a high-profile investigation of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations in Wyoming. In a letter today to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and James Inhofe of Oklahoma panned the agency for recently announcing plans to delay its work on the case for eight months.

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