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House OKs bill aiding gas storage project

The Arizona House has approved a bill loosening state regulatory protections for groundwater to help a Texas company’s proposal to store natural gas in a stadium-sized underground cavern.

The House voted on the Republican-sponsored bill largely along party lines June 10, sending it to the Senate.

Democrats argued that the project planned in Pinal County by Houston-based MultiFuels LP could pose a risk to the environment.

MultiFuels’ plan is to use water to dissolve salt in a large underground cavern to make room for the natural gas. They would then pump the extremely salty water back into the ground elsewhere.

Republican supporters contend the project is safe and that the gas storage capacity it creates would boost the state’s economy.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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