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Floridians resist offshore drilling

Bracing for another confrontation over offshore drilling, 24 of the 27 Florida members of Congress are urging House and Senate leaders to help block the spread of oil-and-gas rigs along the state’s west coast.

The Florida response is surprising only because it includes all but three members, a sign of near-unity on offshore drilling that has been elusive in recent months.

Florida’s once-solid opposition to expanded drilling fragmented during last year’s presidential campaign, when gas prices were high and Republican rallies chanted ``Drill, baby, dill!’’

A letter sent to congressional leaders – dated Friday but released today -- from Florida’s two senators and 22 of its 25 House members stresses the argument that drilling in the eastern Gulf would jeopardize military training exercises from bases in the Florida Panhandle.