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Rexburg mayor concerned about future natural gas needs

Rexburg mayor concerned about future natural gas needs

REXBURG, Idaho - The Idaho Public Utilities Commission released Intermountain Gas' outline of customer needs yesterday.

In what's called an Integrated Resource Plan, Intermountain Gas analyses the natural gas needs for its customers.

Intermountain Gas finished a new pipeline last fall that increased the amount of natural gas for cities like Rexburg.

Mayor of Rexburg, Richard Woodland said he believes the new pipeline won't be able to keep up with their future growth.

"We're good for right now, and we appreciate their efforts in that regard," said Woodland.

Before the new pipeline was installed, Woodland said Rexburg had to turn down a potential industrial business.

"We didn't have enough gas," said Woodland. "We pay the same rates as everyone else, and it made me a little angry."

He stressed the problem is solved for right now, but he worries about the future.

"We're growing so fast we're not going to have enough," said Woodland.

He said take a look around Rexburg and the growth is obvious. BYU-Idaho also has hopes to convert from coal to natural gas in 2016. Woodland says that combined with potential industrial businesses may increase the need for natural gas. Intermountain Gas, on the other hand, said they revisit their five-year IRP's every other year to assess the growth.

"We'll be the first to admit, things could change in our future analysis" said Byron Defenbach of Intermountain Gas. "We will adjust accordingly."

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