The bid for a $2 billion bid to buy the nation’s first gas delivery system, known as the Natural Gas Forge, has raised concerns among energy companies and lawmakers alike that the deal would undermine the efforts to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington Natural Energy said it plans to use the $2 million it raised in a previous private equity firm, New Era Capital Management, to buy a 25 percent stake in the company, which supplies gas to utilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
It’s the second time Washington Natural has raised an investment for the natural gas pipeline.
The company in December raised $100 million to build a new pipeline in western Pennsylvania.
Washington Natural said the $1.9 billion it raised was in addition to its existing capital expenditures, which totaled $2,826 million for the first six months of 2019.
Washington Natural also said it was adding another $500 million to its capital budget in 2019, including $125 million for capital improvements.
The utility said the investment in the Natural Gateway Pipeline, which would deliver natural gas from western Pennsylvania to New York state, is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and deliver gas to about 20,000 customers.
Washington natural has been a strong supporter of renewable energy since taking over the natural-gas industry in 2010.
In 2016, the utility said it would invest $300 million in renewable energy projects.
The pipeline would deliver about 100,000 tons of natural gas per day.
The company said it expects to close the $5.5 billion pipeline project by the middle of 2020.
The deal would be a boon to the state’s economy and its communities.
Washington has the nation, and the world,’s largest natural gas reserves, but its electricity needs are among the lowest in the country, and state and local governments struggle to maintain them.
The state is among the few states without an electric grid, but the state also has a long history of gas pipelines.
Washington’s natural-resource sector has long been on the front lines of climate change.
Washington’s population has been growing and coal and gas production are increasingly becoming more widespread.
It also has the country’s highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions.