Millions of acres of Gulf waters to be leased for oil, gas drilling

Millions of acres of Gulf waters to be leased for oil, gas drilling

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Millions of acres of federal waters off Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas will be up for grabs for oil and gas drilling leases in March 2018. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said its part of the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history.

Zinke said the lease sale is part of President Donald Trump's push to spur the economy in the Gulf Coast region and put people to work.

Mississippi lawmakers, including Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, have voiced support for the lease sale.

"President Trump's team is following through on their commitment to advancing America's energy independence," said Wicker. "Unlike the previous administration, this one understands that expanded offshore energy development benefits working families, consumers, and our national security. This is a win for Mississippi and the entire country."

"Mississippi welcomes Secretary Zinke's action to carry out the president's vision for American energy dominance," said Bryant. "This will strengthen our state's status as a leader in oil and gas exploration and create good jobs for hardworking Mississippians."

This is the second time millions of acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico will be up for sale under the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022.

In 2017, Lease Sale 249 received $121 million in high bids. In 2018, nearly 77 million acres will be involved in Lease Sale 250. That's roughly the size of the State of New Mexico

The blocks that will be sold range from three miles south of the Mississippi Barrier Island out to 230 miles offshore.

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