Friday, April 19, 2013

Bill proposes more natural gas storage in Fla.

A bill allowing state authorities to commence the development of natural gas storage facilities and the construction of underground pipelines to meet the state’s energy demands has been passed by the Senate Committee on Communications, Energy and Public Utilities.

If approved, the bill — “Underground Natural Gas Storage” — will declare underground gas storage to be in the public interest.

It will also grant authority to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to issue permits to establish natural gas storage facilities and provides for legal action against a person who obstructs the transmission, storage or recovery of natural gas, and it will create the regulation of the natural gas storage facilities.

The bill also seeks to promote conservation of natural gas; makes gas more readily available for domestic, commercial and industrial users; as well as enable the accumulation of large quantities of gas in reserve for emergencies and periods of peak demands.

Sen. Greg Evers, R-Crestview, making a proposal to the lawmakers on the viability of the project in Florida, said, “The passage of the natural gas storage will enable the commencement of the construction of the natural gas pipeline, which will incorporate the building of three natural gas pipelines within the state of Florida.”

He explained that there are two pipelines currently in Florida, including Florida Gas Transmission Pipelines and Gulf Stream Natural Gas System, with another pending proposal for the building of a third natural gas pipeline to be owned by the state.

Studies have revealed that Florida is not a large producer of natural gas, so it must import most of the supply needed for utilities and consumers here.

Presently, there are no existing underground natural gas storage facilities in Florida and there are no regulatory provisions and rules for the storage of underground natural gas. The bill will address this.

All of the natural gas demand in Florida is served by two interstate pipelines delivering up to 4.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

My first reflections on Tallahassee - a culture shock Staying, working in the capital city a culture shock