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SUSTAINABLE SHALE GAS PRODUCTION?  YES, WE CAN. Recent discoveries of abundant shale gas deposits promise decades of affordable—and domestically produced—energy for Americans. But growing controversy over the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") threaten to derail the potential of this windfall.

In a new PPI memo, renowned energy expert Vello Kuuskraa and PPI President Will Marshall propose how to head off a potential impasse on shale. Vello and Will argue that shale gas producers already know the "best practices" that can lead to sustainable, environmentally responsible production. They propose an industry-led "Sustainable Shale Gas Initiative" to identify and promote these best practices and get out in front of shale's critics. By setting their own standards, natural gas producers can pre-empt heavy-handed future regulation, assuage public concerns and encourage the production of shale gas in the most environmentally responsible way. Read HERE.  

CONTAIN IRAN? YES, WE SHOULD. In an op-ed for Foreign Policy, Will Marshall questions the Obama administration's current hard-line stance on Iran.  Current policy, Will argues, "paints the United States into a corner" and "raises the likelihood of war with Iran, despite Obama's preference for a diplomatic solution."  The better path, he says, is to "contain" an Iran with nuclear weapons rather than risk using force to prevent the country from getting nukes in the first place. Read HERE.

SMART, SIMPLE, DOABLE. EXEMPT NEW ENTREPRENEURS FROM QUARTERLY TAX FILINGS IN THEIR FIRST YEAR. Current law requires small businesses, including sole proprietors, self-employed and other "micro-businesses" to file and pay their income taxes every quarter. While this makes sense for established businesses with steady revenues, it's a hassle for fledgling concerns that are not only trying to learn the ropes of starting a business but face uncertain income and prospects. To ease this burden, PPI proposes exempting micro-businesses from quarterly tax filings in their first year and allowing these businesses to pay their full share of taxes with their annual return. This idea would cost the Treasury nothing but would save time and money for small businesses. Read HERE


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