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Frontlines

Gas pipelines compete against electric transmission lines. And the pipes are winning.
Fortnightly Magazine - June 15 2001

a new project to the drawing board to bring gas into this market or that. From where I sit, It looks like gas transportation is winning as a business proposition and as a market substitute.

Do I exaggerate? Of course. The electric transmission grid will survive for a time. We need it to support all the coal and nuclear plants that we can't replace just yet. But as for the nation's long-term need for greater delivery capacity for energy, the gas pipelines-not the transmission lines-are the likely answer. With all the new gas pipeline projects now underway, investors are voting with their wallets.

Now let's go back to that newsletter. In another column, the editor says that despite the urging of the Bush administration and others to build new transmission in California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has filed a protested application with the state public utilities commission, arguing that upgrading the infamous Path 15 constraint would not serve the best interest of ratepayers. The editor adds that back on Capitol Hill, trouble is brewing over attempts to amend legislation introduced by Texas Republican Joe Barton that would force the Western Area Power Administration to "coordinate" in upgrading Path 15.

Forget coal by wire. We'll get our electricity delivered by pipe. I place my bet on Dennis Weaver, and his hydrogen-powered future, supported by a gas delivery infrastructure. Those Beverly Hills ladies can't be wrong.

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