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A “Curious” Place for a Pipeline?

July 28, 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Nevadans have their chance to comment today on the proposed 670-mile Ruby pipeline that backers say will meet growing demand for natural gas in the Silver State. However, according to Rose Strickland with the public lands committee of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, it's debatable whether Nevadans need more ready access to natural gas. And she asks, even if they do, why locate the pipeline along a route that cuts largely through wilderness, nowhere near Nevada's population centers?

"The route that they are proposing is way up by the Oregon border, in some of the most pristine, rough, rocky country in the whole state, very far from any possible customers in Nevada. It doesn't make any sense."

Strickland says the proposed Ruby pipeline threatens wildlife, such as the sage grouse, and would affect cultural practices of the Nevada Summit Lake Paiutes, currently one of the most remote tribes in the U.S. The company proposing the pipeline says it will hire specialists to monitor construction and see that wildlife and Native American cultural sites along the route are protected.

Strickland says water is another big question mark for the proposed 42-inch-diameter gas pipeline.

"Millions of gallons of water is needed for testing of this pipe, but there is no source of that water identified or actually acquired. We don't know what the impacts of taking water from rivers or from groundwater would be; it's not analyzed."

Strickland says it's also not spelled out where the water would be dumped when the testing is completed. She says nearly all of the environmental impact concerns could be eliminated if the location were moved to existing utility corridors and out of wild lands.

The hearing takes place in Elko at the Hilton Gardens Inn at 7 p.m.

A map of the proposed pipeline is at

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV