Puerto Rico drops plan to build natural gas pipeline that was opposed by many islanders

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The government of Puerto Rico has formally withdrawn plans to build a natural gas pipeline after investing more than $50 million in a project that provoked strong opposition from islanders and environmentalists.

A spokeswoman with the U.S. 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.

Gov. 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 $1 billion a year.

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

Organizations: SAN JUAN, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Geographic location: Puerto Rico

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