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SoCalGas Plans to Expand Capacity to High Desert Area

Faced with a fast growing residential/commercial area in the greater high desert Yucca Valley area about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Sempra Energy's Southern California Gas Co. is planning to increase its transmission pipeline capacity into the relatively remote area north of Palm Springs, a company official verified Tuesday. Large loads at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base to the east and growing residential and commercial uses of gas in Yucca Valley prompted the plans.

Cogeneration at the military base, an expansion of existing compressed natural gas fueling for commercial fleet vehicles and the advent of a new super-sized WalMart all spell added gas load in the area, according to a company official.

The gas utility, which serves the largest gas distribution customer population in the country, has one major transmission line from the Whitewater area outside of Palm Springs running northerly to the high-desert installations at Twentynine Palms and Yuccas Valley. Several alternatives for boosting that capacity are being analyzed, the company official said.

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