Ritter supports quick approval of gas pipeline | AspenTimes.com

Ritter supports quick approval of gas pipeline

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is urging federal officials to quickly certify the proposed Ruby Pipeline, which would cut through northeastern Utah.

A lack of pipeline capacity is one of the reasons for the slowdown in Colorado’s natural gas industry. Other factors are plunging gas prices and tight credit.

Ritter sent a letter Thursday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission saying a lack of pipelines means that gas produced in Colorado sells for less than in other areas.

“That hurts Colorado gas producers and puts Colorado jobs at risk,” Ritter wrote to the FERC.

Ritter asked the commission to expedite approval of the pipeline “to help protect thousands of Colorado jobs, to support an important Colorado industry and to help move America closer to energy security.”

Houston-based El Paso Corp. and partners want to build the $3 billion Ruby Pipeline from Opal, Wyo., to Malin, Ore., near California’s northern border. The pipeline would carry 1.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas from the Rockies and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Ritter’s administration has clashed with the oil and gas industry over proposed new regulations that would require more focus on public health and safety, wildlife and the environment when considering development. Some industry representatives have the blamed the rules for cutbacks in activity in Colorado because of uncertainty of their effects.

State regulators counter that the economy is the driving force behind the downturn.

Carter Mathies, a partner in Arista Midstream Services, told the Grand Junction Sentinel that he appreciates Ritter promoting the pipeline. He said the Ruby Pipeline would make a difference for producers in western Colorado’s Piceance Basin.

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