US House Committee votes to block Gulfstream pipeline

The US House Committee on Appropriations Monday voted to block the construction of the Gulfstream pipeline project from Mobile Bay, Ala., across the Gulf of Mexico to central Florida. A Gulfstream spokesman said the attempt is symbolic, because construction has already begun.


WASHINGTON, DC, June 26 -- The US House Committee on Appropriations Monday voted to attempt to block the construction of the Gulfstream pipeline project from Mobile Bay, Ala., across the Gulf of Mexico to central Florida.

A Gulfstream spokesman said the attempt is symbolic, because construction has already begun.

Duke Energy Corp. and Williams own the proposed project through joint venture Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC.

Energy and water subcommittee Chairman Sonny Callahan (R-Ala.) and ranking Democrat Peter Visclosky of Indiana both supported the pipeline provision, attached to a spending bill that funds a portion of the US Department of Energy programs.

Callahan's amendment prevents the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from using funds to finish the regulatory paperwork necessary for the 750-mile pipeline, which would transport gas from Alabama to the Tampa Bay, Fla., area.

The 1 bcf/d project won approval from FERC in April 2000.

Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Gulfstream Natural Gas System, said the move is political. "There's a lot of politics going on there," he said, indicating the move to block the line is an attempt by Alabama to prevent its gas, which it may need, going to Florida.

Stockton said that Gulfstream is studying the legislation, but does not expect the Committee's decision to affect the construction schedule at all.

Stockton said all necessary permits have been acquired. The project should be complete June 2002 (OGJ Online, May 31, 2001).

The move comes 5 days after the full House voted to block a contested lease sale in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (OGJ Online, June 22, 2001).

The Democratic-controlled Senate has not yet voted on either measure. However, the White House is expected to oppose both limiting measures.

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