A Texas-based company wants to build a 680-mile-long natural-gas pipeline that would run through four states, from Wyoming to Oregon, cutting through National Forest land in Utah along the way.

El Paso Corp.'s proposed Ruby Pipeline project would begin at the Opal Hub in Wyoming and terminate in Malin, Ore. The pipeline would have an initial capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, with the flexibility to increase that capacity to 2 billion cubic feet per day.

Ruby Pipeline LLC is owned by El Paso Ruby Holding Company LLC, which is an affiliate of El Paso Corp., headquartered in Houston. El Paso Corp. owns North America's largest gas pipeline system and is one of the largest independent natural-gas producers.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plans to hold six meetings in four states to gather public comment on the proposed pipeline, beginning April 15 in

Elko, Nev. A meeting in Brigham City will be held April 17 at 7 p.m., in the Box Elder High School auditorium, located at 380 S. 600 West.

Commission spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen said Thursday that El Paso wants to file its application with the commission in January 2009 and begin service with the pipeline in March 2011, if the company gains the commission's approval.

El Paso spokesman Richard Wheatley said the project is a nearly $2 billion dollar investment in new pipeline infrastructure that will connect natural gas reserves in the Rocky Mountain region with growing markets in the western United States.

The pipeline would transport natural gas to local utilities that provide service to end users in Nevada, California and Oregon, he said. The end users would be individual homes, small and large businesses, and electric generating plants.

The proposed pipeline would have rights of way that could cross portions of Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Oregon. Two compressor stations are planned for the project, including one near Opal Hub and another near the midpoint of the project.

According to the El Paso Corp. Web site, the route would traverse south and west from Wyoming before entering Utah, passing near the town of Woodruff. The route would cross through a portion of the Cache National Forest, passing near the city of Avon, before crossing to Brigham City. From there, it would pass near Bear River City and Thatcher before eventually entering Nevada.

The company noted that the proposed route is not "set in stone." Wheatley said the final route will not be determined until the formal application is made in 2009.

Sierra Club spokesman Tim Wagner declined to comment Thursday on the potential environmental impact of the proposed project until his group can study the plan.

A complete schedule of the public-comment meetings is posted on the commission's Web site at www.ferc.gov. The agency will also accept written comments through April 30.


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