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President Obama has advocated alternatives to fossil fuels, but when it comes to US sources of energy, he's also been careful to consider "all of the above." Now he's approved exploratory oil drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean — to the outrage of environmentalists concerned about polluting pristine waters and about climate change.

Also, the coming Senate showdown over phone records collection. On today's Talking Point, state lotteries, a $70 billion tax paid mostly by the poorest Americans.

Photo: Shell's Polar Pioneer being towed into place in the Salish Sea (Backbone Campaign)

Coming Senate Showdown over Phone Records Collection 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Yesterday the House voted to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of American telephone records. The vote was overwhelming: 338 to 88. But Senators are divided and they're under pressure, because the Patriot Act, which allows bulk collection, expires very soon. Brandon Sasso reports on technology policy for National Journal.

Brendan Sasso, National Journal (@BrendanSasso)

Sensenbrenner on the USA Freedom Act
Leahy on the call for Senate to pass USA Freedom Act

America's Rejoining the Race for Arctic Oil 34 MIN, 2 SEC

President Obama has protected some parts of the Arctic Ocean from oil and gas development — but he's permitted exploration in other parts. Royal Dutch Shell will be towing massive rigs back and forth from Seattle to far Northern waters for drilling during brief summer respites from icy storms. In the waters off Seattle, small boats and kayaks are gathered to protest exploratory oil drilling. Outraged environmentalists see potential disasters worse than Deepwater Horizon, which devastated the relatively placid Gulf of Mexico. Meantime, Russia, Norway — and even China — are also looking at opportunities for Arctic oil drilling created by climate change.

McKenzie Funk, journalist and author (@McKenzieFunk)
Bob Deans, Natural Resources Defense Council (@NRDC)
Mead Treadwell, PT Capital (@Mead_Treadwell)
Keith Johnson, Foreign Policy magazine (@ForeignPolicy)

Funk on the wreck of the Kulluk
Funk's 'Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming'
NRDC on unnecessary risks from offshore drilling
Johnson on the impact of low prices, high costs to Arctic oil drilling
Los Angeles Times on Obama's "complicated" Arctic drilling strategy
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on oil spill risk in the Chukchi Sea outer continental shelf

In Deep Water

Peter Lehner

The Lure of the Lotto and Its Impact on the Poor 9 MIN, 21 SEC

States establish lotteries as a means of funding public services, including education, environmental protection and crime control. Best of all, of course, they're voluntary. But it turns out that most of the money they take in every year comes from the poorest Americans. Powerball is shared by 44 states, with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The chance of winning that "guaranteed jackpot?" One in 175,223,510. It's not great odds -- but just one of the games that add up to $70 billion a year.

Thanks to Sarah Sween for production assistance.

Matthew O'Brien, Washington Post (@ObsoleteDogma)
Terry Rich, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries

O'brien on 'why you should never, ever play the lottery'


Warren Olney

Sáša Woodruff
Katie Cooper

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