Jan 11, 2010 8:20 AM by Associated Press
Federal regulators are recommending approval of two natural gas pipelines that would sharply increase fuel shipments from the Rockies to population centers in the Midwest and on the West Coast.
Combined, the proposed pipelines would move almost 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. That's enough to fuel about 9 million homes and represents a roughly 25 percent increase over current gas exports from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected make a final decision on the Bison and Ruby pipelines by late March.
Federal studies say building the lines - each hundreds of miles long - would have widespread environmental impacts. But officials say those are outweighed by the potential economic benefits.
Both lines would originate in gas-rich Wyoming, where a history of limited pipeline capacity has forced companies to sell fuel at a discount.