Step taken toward oil and gas leasing in rare whale's habitat

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Bush administration took a first step Tuesday toward allowing oil and gas leasing in an area of the Bering Sea considered important for the recovery of the world's most endangered whale.
The administration proposal opening up 5.6 million acres off the Alaska coast to energy development was published in the Federal Register by the Minerals Management Service. The area, which had been protected from drilling since 1990, is north of the Aleutian Islands near Bristol Bay. The administration lifted the ban last year.

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