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Trump Administration To Offer Up More Of Gulf Of Mexico For Oil And Gas Exploration

Opponents in St. Augustine of oil and gas exploration. Photo by Amy Green

The U.S. Department of the Interior says it will offer up 73 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration in August.

The lease sale will include all unleased federal areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil and gas exploration is banned within 100 miles of Florida’s Gulf Coast, but Eric Draper of Audubon of Florida says the state will still be affected.

“We’re greatly threatened by sea level rise, which is caused by carbon dioxide being converted into greenhouse gases. And we’re already seeing the evidence of sea level rise in Florida. We’re seeing erosion of our beaches. We’re seeing salt water intruding into our groundwater supplies.”

Up to a billion barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of gas are projected to be generated as a result of the lease sale.

The Interior Department says it’s part of President Trump’s plan to boost the country’s energy independence.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »