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Puerto Rico abandons plan to build gas pipeline

Friday, October 12, 2012 | 12:40 PM    

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The government of Puerto Rico has formally withdrawn plans to build a natural gas pipeline after investing more than US$50 million in a project that provoked strong opposition from islanders and environmentalists.

A spokeswoman with the US Army Corps of Engineers said Friday that the agency received a letter requesting the project be abandoned.

The decision comes four months after a government-appointed committee rejected plans for the pipeline that would have bisected the island, and offered three alternatives.

Governor Luis Fortuno originally backed the project as a way to reduce dependence on oil. He said the 92-mile (148-kilometre) pipeline would have saved US$1 billion a year.

Government officials said they would consider other natural gas options and expect to choose one by mid-2013

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