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Coleman predicts new energy bill

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ST. PAUL - Congress will return to work early next year and pass a landmark energy package regardless of the presidential race outcome, U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman predicts.

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Coleman, a Republican hoping he is among those sent back to Washington, said Thursday a deal led by a bipartisan group of senators will take a comprehensive approach to moving the country toward energy independence. The package will expand domestic oil and gas exploration, include more nuclear energy production and use money saved by ending some oil tax incentives to pay for research and incentives for alternative energy and fuel production.

There is consensus behind pushing for a new energy policy, Coleman said while attending a University of Minnesota forum.

"What it is, is a kind of all-of-the-above approach," he said. "And I think that's what makes it attractive to Republicans and attractive to Democrats.

Coleman cautioned that the country should not lose its resolve to push for energy independence just because gas prices have fallen considerably in recent weeks.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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