Oil Drilling Debate Scheduled

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As the demand for energy rises, Florida leaders fear Congress is forging ahead with plans to explore for oil in the Gulf. And so far, our local leaders have had little or no say so in the process.

So far Floridians aren't sold on the idea of oil rigs, at least not in their own backyard. But some local leaders are ready to give up the fight and settle for a compromise.

Here's the plan so far. The U.S. Interior Department would open up two million acres of the Gulf of Mexico for oil exploration 100 miles south of the Panhandle. It would be part of a five-year outer continental shelf leasing program.

But so far all of the discussion has taken place in Washington D.C. and legislators here in Tallahassee tell us it's time for them to be part of this debate.