Tuesday, January 12, 2010

El Paso Pipeline Recommended by U.S. Federal Regulators

By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press Writer
BILLINGS, Mont. January 11, 2010 (AP)

Federal regulators are recommending approval of two natural gas pipelines that could sharply increase fuel shipments from the Rockies to population centers in the Midwest and on the West Coast.

The Rockies hold an estimated 375 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or almost as much as the Gulf of Mexico.

The fuel has been promoted as a less-polluting alternative to coal because it emits less greenhouse gas. Yet moves to crank open the spigot in the Rockies are getting pushback from environmentalists worried about the growing number of pipelines crisscrossing the West.

Combined, the two latest proposals would move almost 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day — enough to fuel about 9 million homes. That would amount to a roughly 25 percent increase over current gas exports from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to make final decisions on the Bison and Ruby pipelines in the next two to three months, said agency spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen. Construction could begin by spring.


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