President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will unveil the administration's plans for oil and gas drilling this morning and reports suggests exploration in the Gulf of Mexico 125 miles off Florida's coast are in the mix.The New York Times says "the eastern Gulf of Mexico tract that would be offered for lease is adjacent to an area that already contains thousands of wells and hundreds of drilling platforms. The eastern Gulf area is believed to contain as much as 3.5 billion barrels of oil and 17 trillion cubic feet of gas, the richest single tract that would be open to drilling under the Obama plan.
"Drilling there has been strongly opposed by officials from both political parties in Alabama and Florida who fear damage to coastlines, fisheries, popular beaches and wildlife. Interior Department officials said no wells would be allowed within 125 miles of the Florida and Alabama coasts, making them invisible from shore."
Obama is hoping to get support for a climate change bill but 10 coastal state Democrats -- including Florida's Bill Nelson who has vehemently opposed oil drilling -- say they won't support a big expansion of drilling.