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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Military means security for eastern Gulf?



U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Indian Shores says he talked this morning with Gordon England, the assistant secretary of defense, who told him that the Defense Department remains opposed to allow drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico - but the military does plan to review it.

At the Capitol Wednesday, Young told Buzz that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked the Navy to review and assess its needs for vast military training zone that covers much of the eastern Gulf. Young is the top Republican on the House committee that controls military spending.

The military's opposition to drilling in that area, which covers everything east of a line running from just east of Pensacola to the Keys, has helped Florida's congressional delegation beat back attempts to open the state's coasts to oil and gas exploration. The line runs 234 miles off Tampa Bay.

The Navy and Air Force use the area for testing equipment, live-fire exercises, training and for shake-down cruises before deploying abroad.


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:46am]


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