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  • Morning Bell: Did You See the Senate's Gas Price Sideshow?

    In case you missed it, there was quite a performance in the U.S. Senate yesterday. Liberals put on an election-year show, with the personal encouragement of President Barack Obama, in which they attempted to impose higher taxes on the oil industry as punishment for their profits while gas prices are at an all-time high.

    The Senate rejected the bill 51-47. Despite certain defeat, liberals brought up the legislation in hopes of distracting the American people from the fact that President Obama is refusing to take steps that would help increase the supply of oil in the United States, and decrease regulation, thereby bringing down costs for consumers. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) put it, “Day after day after day, Democrats ask us all to come out here, not so we can make an actual difference in the lives of working Americans and families struggling to fill the gas tank, but so we can watch them stage votes for show.”

    Heritage expert David Kreutzer points out, most of what the President and his allies call “subsidies” are merely manufacturing tax credits that already put the oil and gas industry at a disadvantage:

    [T]he unfair tax break that makes up nearly half of what Obama calls “subsidies” is the manufacturing tax credit. All manufacturers except the oil and gas industry get to deduct 9 percent of their revenues before calculating their tax bills…Though oil and gas producers get the deduction, they are singled out for a lower 6 percent deduction. The oil and gas industry gets a deduction that is only two-thirds as generous as for all other manufacturers …yet the deduction is called a subsidy to oil and gas. The President’s proposal does not eliminate the deduction for any other industry.

    To make matters worse, if this legislation had passed and the President achieved his goal of increasing taxes on the oil industry, it would have only served to raise the price of fuel at the pump. When industry is taxed, they invariably pass on the costs to the consumers. But that fact apparently doesn’t matter to the President. His plan, instead, is to take money from the oil industry and hand it to his friends in the alternative energy industry, as he described:

    Instead of taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, we should be using that money to double down on investments in clean energy technologies that have never been more promising. Investments in wind power and solar power and biofuels; in fuel-efficient cars and trucks and homes and buildings. That’s the future.

    While the President talks about the future, he glosses over the past. For over three years, he has talked about the promise of alternative energy — and he has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in order to prop up those companies. But those efforts have failed. Solar energy company Solyndra went bankrupt, despite $535 million in taxpayer funding, along with Beacon, Ener1, Abound and others. The New York Times criticized the President’s efforts and concluded that his promise to create five million “green” jobs over 10 years has proven to be nothing more than “a pipe dream.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported, “Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level.”

    The President’s crony capitalist devotion to the alternative energy industry — at the expense of energy sources that work — comes with serious consequences. Heritage’s Nick Loris explains:

    The reality is that when it comes to energy policy, the free market works. Indeed, the business environment for energy is robust despite seemingly endless forays by policymakers and bureaucrats into the energy industry. But those attempts to control energy markets do have an effect: They result in higher prices, fewer available energy sources, reduced competition, and stifled innovation.

    But the President wants even more government involvement in the energy business — on his own terms. In Obama’s FY 2013 budget, he included billions of dollars for a hidden green stimulus — taxpayer money to be spent by the Department of Energy to fund research on technologies that are not commercially viable. In a new paper, Loris identifies $5.5 billion of wasted money that should be cut from the President’s budget, thereby removing the government–and taxpayers–from the role of subsidizing research.

    Instead of picking winners and losers, the federal government should let the free market do its job. In addition to getting out of the business of funding research best left to the private sector, that also means ending targeted tax credits for oil, renewables, nuclear, alternative fuels and vehicles, and advanced coal and gasification. The next step is for the federal government to open access to domestic energy sources and end unnecessary, overly burdensome regulations that get in the way of energy production. And the President should approve the Keystone XL pipeline and open up federal lands for energy exploration.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    64 Responses to Morning Bell: Did You See the Senate's Gas Price Sideshow?

    1. Mike Del says:

      Very good article. It tells it the way it REALLY is. I would love to repost for all the Obama Koolaid drinkers but it is a long article. Their attention spans are too short to read it to the end. :(( .

    2. Cecelia P. says:

      I don't understand how the President and the liberals can ignore the evidence right in front of them. Their policies aren't working – why don't they see that? What ultimate goal are they trying to achieve?

      • Jim says:

        Very simple, it makes them "feel good". doesn't matter if they work, don't work, they get to say they did something.

      • Clyde says:

        Their plans r workin, like they want, for Agenda 21, Its already started. People are asleep if they don't no about it.Wake up America. Check it out, the hole thing, til scary u to death

      • Katherine says:

        They want to make USA like Europe. I suppose they could just save us the headache and move there; but there are no JOBS in Europe. D'oh!

        • david5300 says:

          Europeans pay all sorts of taxes from gasoline sales. If you removed the heavy taxes their prices might be in line with ours.
          Obama stated he wanted higher energy prices and he got his wish.
          Government gets the lions share of the price we all pay at the pump, you will never hear them talk about it though, they will not give up what their take.

      • Stirling says:

        The liberal agenda for arround 100 years has been to create a socialist society "Nany State Utopia", it which government is the center of everyones universe.. People have no power, government has all the power to dictate how and where you live your life. This is why they Abhor the constitution, and your individual rights as an american. This is aslo why they don't change policies even when it isn't working, because what is wrong for you is right for their ultimate goals..

      • Emanuel says:

        Obama is doing the bidder of people like Soros and the real power brokers like the Bildebergers, they our taking us down a path that brings the USA down to its knees, in which well lead to their goal of a New world order and One World Goverment, Obama is doing an awesume job of decieving the mindless sheep in this country, this is a very dangerous man

      • Susan says:

        Bring America to its nees comes to mind!

      • Doug S. says:

        I believe that they are trying to prove that our free market constitutional republic doesn't work by undermining the markets and constitution.

      • david5300 says:

        Our distruction

    3. okiejim says:

      Is our Senate finally wising up??? One can only hope.

    4. Whicket Williams says:

      This is ALL a lie. Gas prices are High because the Government WANTS them high There is a Glut All storage tanks are full, we are being forced to cut back production because there is no place to PUT IT_ and Exports are at an all time High- just like in the 70's when they put the shaft to us the first time.

    5. inverbrass says:

      Obama is not only inept, he is a liar and fool, a disgrace to our nation and the office of the President of the United States. His arrogance knows no bounds unlike is penchant for half truths and lies. He poses a far greater danger to our nation and way of life than Hitler, Mao, Chavez, Saddam, Ahmadinajed, and all the other dictators of third world toilet nations past and present.

    6. Krutch says:

      Taxes always get passed on to the consumer so the price would have "necessarily skyrocketed". More of obamas' plan and it would have been blamed on rebups.

    7. John C. Davidson says:

      The Liberals in the Senate stopped making sense a long time ago. The Senator (Brown) that is suppose to represent Ohio ignored the referendum aginst Obamacare, What does tht tell you?

    8. Mary......WI says:

      I agree alternate fuel sources are needed but it could take 20 years before it's perfected. I don't agree that government should be handing out stimulus money to these "green companies" which, it appears, have all gone belly up for lack of knowledge on how to run a company I suspect. Let private sector pursue the alternate fuel sources with their own money. In the meantime, we have oil here in the US that can be drilled and processed and the Keystone XL brings Canadian oil closer to our borders than dealing with the Mideast. It's only common sense……..Democrats/liberals/progressives have NO COMMON SENSE……and the senate not even bringing Rep Ryan's passed budget to the senate floor is even more proof

    9. GGT says:

      The dems have proven over and over they have no understanding of real world economics. Sad considering how many went to our top universities. They continue to look at the economics as static – they continue to believe that the pie size is set and unchangable. They do things not to make things better but to appear to be fair. Obama when presented with the facts that higher Cap Gains taxes bring in fewer tax revenues said that is irrelevant – he wants the rich to pay their fair share. DUH – if the lower tax makes them pay more isn't that doing what he wants? NOPE – he wants those that don't have a clue to think he is raising taxes on the rich – he doesn't care about actual revenue. It's interesting to note that under democratic congresses/presidents – the pay inequity rises as they implement fairness. Under Bush the pay inequity narrowed.

    10. The President is to blame for the high gas prices.

    11. Mutantone says:

      You neglected to mention that all his "green Energy" friends got the money then went belly up with out mentioning how much of the Tax payers money was then kicked back to the reelection funds for Obama

    12. Frank says:

      In my opinion, the government should do away with all tax credits (subsidies) to all industries and use the extra money to pay down the trillions of debt this country has gotten into. Then, if a company can't make it on the merits of their product manufactured, the quality of the product and the sales price, then they should close up shop. The remaining companies would have even more business and would need to hire additional employees (those laid off from the other companies). Then there could be no gripping that one industry gets more tax advantage than the other.

      • Stirling says:

        When has the government actually taken extra money to pay down the debt? They don't, it's just a way to remove any "breaks" that a company or individual would have to shield themselves from oppressive government spending.. Rememeber the more they can take from us the more they can claim to have to spend on something else. Which is why nobody wants to give the government anything more then they are legally obligated to do.

    13. Charles Winders says:

      I sent an email a few days ago about America shipping out 98 gallons more oil than it brings in, my thinking was we need that oil here. This increase supply would reduce gas prices,” WRONG".
      I did a little more looking into the subject and found SUPPLY has nothing to do with gas prices. This is where I get lost not having any idea how Wall Streets works. It seems the New York Mercantile Exchange and London, and Dubai future contracts are the regulators of gas prices. I guess all the gas in the world won't lower prices, has nothing to do with it. It is controlled by SPECULATORS on the trading floor??????

      • Katherine says:

        If so, the speculators base their decisions on how the political wind is waving…as the drastic drop in the stock market when Obama was elected proves to be so.

    14. stephen says:

      Our subsidy is a tax?

    15. jshep says:

      This administration and the democratic party have never understood that it is not their money. If the government ran this country as a business with profit in mind they could make their own money and
      we could keep ours. Pretty simple concept actually.

      • stephen says:

        Yea and that kind of Romney government would buy you out, scrap you out and leave you to the vultures.
        How's that for smaller government?

    16. The truth about gas prices.

    17. ted izzo says:

      what liberals fail to understand is that the money that the government gets from these taxes NEVER goes towards what its intended for anyway! one just has to look at the lottery thats supposed to go towards education…..but then the government turns around and says they need more! what a sideshow…..the government makes a hell of alot more money at the pump than the oil companies do!! where is the outrage over that?????????

    18. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It's clear that Obama is using energy to collapse our economy. He is not only making it almost impossible for the energy industry to do their jobs, but he is actually threating to increae energy cost in the face of this nation suffering higher and higher energy cost. Not only does he want to take away tax insensitives from oil companies and give it to his friends in the "green" payback indurtry, but a few days ago he directed the EPA to basiclly end coal usage to generate electricity. Even a radical ideologue such as Obama, who is certainly not stupid, cannot be that out of touch with realily that he would continue to jeopardize reelection. Start looking under rocks. Obama has some sinister plan afoot for November.

    19. irish1919 says:

      I can't believe that the American people cannot comprehend how dangerous this President and Harry Reid are to this country. While republicans have passed 100's of bills the Reid led senate has refused to bring any up for a vote. The only gridlock in Washington is within the administration and this senate. We would already have been drilling for oil if we had a republican house, senate and president. Wake up people and vote these phonies out of office in 2012 or have your children and grand-children pay for your refusing to act.

    20. rspellmann says:

      Is anyone reading the comments on Amazon about the Kindle edition!!?? I have subscribed to Heritage for several years through email. I have a Kindle but have not subscribed through Amazon and, therefore, have not observed what the Amazon reviews described about bad formatting and missing text. If was evaluating a subscription I would never start a Kindle subscription because of the criticism by those who tried.

      After 42 years in the computer industry I am too paranoid to share any of my information with Facebook, Twitter, or such. I read a lot of Kindle books and other ebooks and I used the Amazon "Like" icon to like the product but I noticed there were only 7 others who "liked" it besides me.

      I encourage someone to investigate the appearance of Heritage output on a Kindle. Good luck.

    21. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Obama's plan is to radically change our economy and life standards to conform with the likes of the Soviet Union, Castro's Cuba, and other communist states. Our only salvation is to insure that he does not get a second term to complete the job.

    22. Stuart Nickerson says:

      Please do a piece on what the EPA is doing to the coal industry. It is a regulatory assault for Obama political and policy reasons. There must be an end to such tactics: Can the House cut off funding for the EPA? Please talk about this.
      Thanks

    23. beaker55 says:

      So my question is this: Why in the world can't the Republican leadership grab the bull by the horns and articulate this issue in a way that educates the American public and exposes the Left's devious misrepresentation of a simple tax credit afforded to all manufacturing? This is the whole problem with the Republican party leadership currently. Not ONE single leader can get past playing defense to the Democrat talking points and go on the offensive. This is such a simple issue, but the Left has hamstrung the conversation with their Orwellian language. Shame on Democrats for their typical deceit; Shame on Republicans for their utter lack of imagination (brains?).

      • Joseph McKennan says:

        I think the GOP doesn't take the initiative because that would require work-ethic, integrity. patriotism (from the gut)- a lot of the higher ideals of humanity. In the United Stsates right now our leaders are a lot of self serving lushes that are in it for the pork. If asked a pointed question they respond with excessive vocabulary that has no meaning….. "you mean we are expected to WORK? We are continually covering our asses, padding our private resouces, always looking for a new scheme/catchphrase, isn't that enough? You want us to govern?"

      • irish1919 says:

        I agree. I believe the likes of Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio would communicate the difference between republicans and democrats much better. The establishment republicans continue to support the McCains and Romneys of the party and it has been recipe for defeat. I would promote a Rubio/Ryan ticket which would take obama and other socilialists to task.

    24. Jerry B. Tx. says:

      Why do'nt they just leave the alt. energy progress to the people who will make it work in time,this tech. does'nt happen over night.It is a great idea,but we are still going to have to rely on fossil fuels for awhile.The article mentioned a pipe dream(another of odummers crackpipe dreams)

      • irish1919 says:

        Down with government intervention and unions. Then the private sector can get to the task at hand. No demand for alternate energy, no private money support. Drill drill drill and drill some more. Get rid of all these left wing environmental nut jobs. They want to take us to Windmills and horse drawn wagons. What morons.

    25. Tom says:

      Doesn't using the phrase "crony capitalism" stretch the definition of capitalism far enough that the word itself no longer has definitive meaning? How about "crony financialism" or maybe "crony hucksterism." Either seems a better fit for the activity that is being depicted. My concern that constructive–and essential for prosperity–free-market capitalism is being tarnished by association with actions that at most bear just a pale semblance to actual capitalism. After all, isn't several decades of Washington kleptoparasitism along with Wall Street financial hucksterism what the "Occupy Where Ever" groups are actually protesting against rather then capitalism?

    26. Wagoner says:

      What concerns me is that the Ameican people elected him…. And all we have to counter is the Republican party, with Mitt Romney….. No chance… Without a true Conservative Party, we are lost…. I keep thinking, Bob Dole, John McCain, George Bush, George Bush II….. Reagan is the ONLY elected Conservative that the Republican party has offered…. Again, no chance…. Think Big Government…. By Dems and Republicans….. Never change….

    27. Zygote1332 says:

      We already have picked winners and influenced the free market when tax credits and subsidies are given to gas, oil &the nuclear industries. Nuclear in particular has no ability to survive without massive govt support.

      • Mark Simmons says:

        The Heritage Foundation and most of the folks on here would LOVE to see the manipulation of industries through the tax code to see. Heritage in particular has been a leading proponent of the flat tax.

        But do you realize that if that happens, the taxes paid by the oil companies will go DOWN. They already pay 40 cents on every dollar earned in taxes. Most companies pay about 20 cents on the dollar.

    28. Mark Simmons says:

      If we learned anything from the 3 days of briefings on Obamacare it is why the left so avoids an open debate on their ideas and proposals–they are intellectually and morally bankrupt. So if they want slide shows, Republican Senators demand equal time!

      Give them a slide show that shows the truth:

      - That the Government is the biggest profiteer when it comes to oil–40-cents of every dollar goes to the government vs. 8-10-cents in profit to be distributed among all the owners who put up the capital and take all the risk.

      - Put up a slide that shows the taxes paid compared to other companies/industries–oil and gas 40-cents on the dollar, Apple 20-cents.

      - And another slide showing the investments oil and gas companies are making to alternative energy compared to all other sources. Oil and gas dwarfs them all–combined!

      Yeah, they want a slide show, let's give 'em one.

    29. toledofan says:

      Well, it's pretty clear to me that Washington has turned it's back on America and they, mainly the Democrats, are showing how inept they are at managing the economy, the military and our freedoms. It really borders on pathetic; no budget in over 1000 days, no energy policy, in general, except to close down the coal plans going green whatever that means and making fossil fuel more expensive. In addition our borders are still very porous, we have a foriegn policly of cut and run or do nothing, unemployment and housing starts are still in the tank, the dollar continues to devalue and we continue to slice America across her stomach with race baiting and redistrubution. And to top it off Obama is still getting high marks and people actually think he's doing a good job, go figure.

    30. Robert Lebischak says:

      Isn't it something, the elected elites in Washington still stick together like glue. They care more about their money and position than they do about the American People. I wonder if the voter will wake up this election and do anything about it?

    31. Stirling says:

      The american people should realize that the liberal agenda punishing the oil and coal industries raising prices is just the begining should this president get 4 more years.. Anything the government does to industries can and will be turned on it's people eventually as well (It's called tyranny), and occurs in every government when it has no fear from it's citizens. Which is why the elections americans need to send a clear message year after year until government officals realize they are not immune to their constituents.

    32. Alohasue says:

      This is all about our president going after the oil industry to nail the American people, once again. He wants us on the same level as Europe as he doesn't appear to like this country too much. A lot of damage has already been done by him and Democrats and if he gets 4 more years then he is going to try to finish the job of what he set out to do. You would think that nobody could be stupid enough to vote for this guy again but just the fact that he got elected at alHe didn't inherit this problem…he created it.

    33. Stella says:

      the simple truth as we all know is that Barack Obama is a liar as well as an imposter. He is a userper. He has no intention of making life for us better, his whole game is to make us all equally poor. Of the many article I have read about this liar in chief, one sticks in my mind. He is looking to lead the United Nations. This is why he bows to Muslim leaders and is making deals with Russia behind our backs, etc. Look to his forgien policy…everything points to a Global Governance which he has set as his goal. I believe he is Trogin Horse…beware of this evil and spread the word.

    34. Donald DaCosta says:

      This, like most of Heritage's posts is laced with solid criticism and sound analysis but in my little corner of the world I do not see this as "In Your Face" whereas the purple, festering voice of the Left is slimed everywhere except perhaps on radio. Conservatism will not dominate as it must, long before November 6th, if this kind of analysis and commentary is not force fed to a dumbed down electorate. This is admittedly a complaint without a solution. I wish I had one. I suggest the Right study and adopt the tactics of the Left if it is not already too late.

    35. O2BMe says:

      There is one more reason for the high fuel prices. Inflation. When the treasury printed all that funny money for the stimulus it devalued our currency and now everything costs more. Check your food prices. Everything is moved using fuel from the farmers' tractors to the semi that delivers to your local supermarket. This also applies to the clothes on your back even if it was made in China it is shipped from the port to the stores. When we went off the gold standard it ment our money has nothing of value behind it.

    36. Ben C. says:

      Hmmmm. Central planners – " I know whats good for you." Can you say "Hunger Games"?

    37. stephen says:

      This page has become a rag,
      many, many un knowledgeable people here complaining, not all but many.

      • Stirling says:

        Your entitled to your opinion, but please don't be close minded (as most liberals would want.) Those that "throw stones" without understanding both sides of the issues are arogant, and ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the truth.

    38. Max Kummerow says:

      You guys astonish me. When it is a subsidy for something the country needs, like renewable energy, you get very skeptical. When it is a tax break for the oil industry, that's great. No intellectual consistency. The price of oil will someday in the future be recognized as one of the great market failures of history–far too low due to depletion allowances which are just a subsidy to oil and non-recognition of externalities like climate change and air pollution health costs. If we are going to use markets (which I favor) to allocate resources, we need to get the prices right or the signals cause bad outcomes. There should be a heavy carbon tax on oil to recognize costs of climate change (yeah, yeah, all the scientists are wrong about that, sure, and it was 80 in Wisconsin this March because of normal climate variation, and all that ice melting shown by satellite data maybe is just a conspiracy). And there should be a severance tax (not a depletion allowance) on fossil fuels to recognize the preferences of future generations (the problem of incomplete markets).

      • Mark Simmons says:

        Still clinging to the climate change hoax, eh Max?

        I'm positive that if you and I had a debate on this topic you would be found to be the intellectual equivalent of blind, deaf and dumb.

    39. Charles Webb says:

      Think about what gas prices are doing. Look at all the company vehicles on the road. What does it cost to run power company vehicles, city, county, state vehicles, government vehicles, etc.? What about the trucks that deliver food to the grocery stores? If I had to fuel up these vehicles,at these gas prices, I would have to raise my price on the services that I provided or go out of business! I truly believe Obama is loving this. Think this _________ is for the middle class? Think this ______________cares for this Country? Think this _______________ needs another term as president? THINK THINK THINK

    40. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      No, I didn't. More libtard claptrap.

    41. Jay Snow says:

      Would some one please explain why "Gas, Coal & Oil" are so evil. If we are worried about polution why don't we take the money being poured into "alternative energy" and apply it to scubing the supposed (and hysterically over hyped) pollutants of "fossile" fuels. It would be much cheaper and then we could all happily use our abundant resources of fossile fuels.

    42. Mike in NC says:

      When the words “instead” and “should” appear in reference to what an ever more evidently rigidly Leftist Statist such as Obama, and his Comrades in control in Congress, “should” do “instead” of what they are doing, “instead” and “should” are futile “wishful thinking” for a “pipe dream” which will never happen as long as they, and those agreeable to them (in either major and other parties) are in power. Why? Because it’s like the following question and answer: Will a zebra change his stripes? Answer: No. That’s very true among humans, as in the case of Obama and Reid who refuse to change away from their Statist power and money-grabbing, liberty decreasing agenda and ways.
      So instead of more futile wishful thinking of and saying that “Instead of (what they are doing), Obama should do this, and the Senate should do that”, what needs to be done is more urging that we, the people, remove Obama, Reid, and Co. out of power and replace them with others who will not ignore and even attack our Constitution, as written, and further prove that “As government grows, liberty decreases”.

    43. Bobbie says:

      Obma is lying to the world! Complacency has to stop! His arrogance is destroying all freedom of all mankind through his team players at all levels of government, many non profits and government supported programs that manipulate minds only, spread across the nation with the simple minds of millions behind him! Thank God we have the senate! Stand strong and stay true! NO ONE would be HERE IN AMERICA if it wasn't for the American way EVERYONE came here to LIVE! OBMA and the bunch are SOLELY FOCUSED ON DESTROYING!

    44. JIM - IOWA says:

      TO LLOYD S.;
      Reference to your " start looking under rocks", maybe Obama has some sinister plan in mind for November".
      A good friend of 25 years has been warning me for some time now, "I do not trust Obama at all ". And he is looking for a way to declare Marshall Law before the election in November.
      On March 16, 2012 Executive order # **********, issued on Friday afternoon when no one was paying any attention. Some of us were paying attention, and dually noted it. Allows the President under the 'National Defense Authorization Act' to ' grab anyone off the streets without any charges, no court order , and throw them in any jail without " due process". On the 16th of March he expanded his " war powers" to basically include 'Marshall Law " !!
      That means that he can lock down the whole country with the movement of a pen!
      For more details look under the radar at " Front Porch Politics".

    45. irish1919 says:

      Only reason for financial crash was Freddie and Fannie. Republicans should be pushing this issue to the American people. They took our tax dollars and now are in multi billion dollar debt and want more of our money. This is not Obama stash and the morons state, it is OUR money. Thanks to Chris Dodd and Barney Frank we are suffering through this BAD economy. Those 2 should be thrown in jail just like Bernie Madoff.

    46. JohnLeeHooker says:

      first of all, the lie is that these are "subsidies". In fact, they are operating costs which ALL businesses can write off as "cost of goods sold"

      second, a major reason gas prices are high is that the fed keeps printing money -> lower value to the dollar, higher cost of fuel.

      In my life, I've not seen anything even close to the lies reid, pelosi and odumbo have perpetrated on the US. Communist countries only come close.

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