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Plan to lease millions of acres in the gulf for gas and oil development
The Obama administration plans to lease more than 40 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas development.
Most of the area being opened up sits off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
But around 465,000 acres in the Gulf South of Eastern Alabama and Western Florida will also be up for bid.
The Interior Department says, in keeping with an existing ban, no drilling will occur within 125 miles of Florida's shoreline.
And officials say any operations are not expected to hinder offshore exercises conducted by Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.
The lease auctions will be conducted in March in New Orleans.