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Crist pursues blockbuster sugar buyout

The state of Florida is pursuing a massive buyout of the biggest chunk of Big Sugar, the powerful agricultural industry whose pollution of the Everglades has made it a target of environmentalists for decades.

Gov. Charlie Crist has scheduled a press conference today in Palm Beach County, where he's expected to outline a state proposal to purchase the U.S. Sugar Corp.'s vast holdings between Lake Okeechobee and the marshes of the Everglades -- as much as 187,000 acres, including refineries, railroads and rock mines.

The opening bid could be near $1.7 billion, though the figures could change during what promise to be lengthy and complex negotiations. Read more here.