WASHINGTON (AP) - The Interior Department says it will propose the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States - nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The sale is scheduled for next March and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf's Outer Continental Shelf. The proposal surpasses a lease sale conducted last year by about a million acres.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the propose lease sale was part of the administration's strategy to achieve what President Donald Trump calls "energy dominance" in the global market.
The plan follows a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico in August that drew $121 million in high bids from energy companies seeking 90 offshore tracts.