[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/31/obama.energy/story.jpg caption="President Obama will announce plans to open sections of the eastern Gulf of Mexico for oil and natural gas drilling." width=300 height=169]
CNN Wire Staff
In a move that could help win Republican support for other energy initiatives, President Obama will announce plans Wednesday to open large sections of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and an area off the Virginia coast for oil and natural gas drilling.
"To set America on a path to energy independence, the president believes we must leverage our diverse domestic resources by pursuing a comprehensive energy strategy," said a statement provided by an administration official, who did not want to comment on the record ahead of the president's announcement.
"The president will announce today additional measures that will boost domestic energy production and promote clean energy innovation," the statement said.
The GOP has long championed additional domestic drilling to lessen America's dependence on outside energy sources. And while the plan could help win Republican support for other White House initiatives, it won't find many fans among environmentalists.
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