In a presentation to the Public Service Commission, Florida Power and Light (FPL) announced a plan to add a major natural gas pipeline that would stretch from western Alabama across hundreds of miles of Florida to its plant in Martin County.   FPL is expected to issue requests for proposals later this month to companies interested in building the pipeline, slated to begin operating in 2017.  The company says, in part, the pipeline would allow Florida to become less-reliant on natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico region and bring in supplies from other parts of the country.

Although the precise route has yet to be determined, the project would involve two segments; a northern segment from a natural-gas supply hub in western Alabama through north Florida and then southeast into the Orlando area; and a southern segment from the Orlando area to an FPL power plant in Martin County. While other utilities could tap into the gas lines in the northern segment and Orlando, the southern segment would be targeted to FPL’s needs.

In a meeting with the media this week, Governor Scott was asked about energy issues.  The Governor stated that the state is benefiting from local natural gas prices, adding "I think what we have to do from an energy policy standpoint is keep the flow of natural gas into the state from being disrupted. That is very important."