Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) and Piedmont Natural Gas Company (NYSE:PNY) announced today that they will jointly request  the rights to build North Carolina's second major natural gas pipeline. 

According to the press release, North Carolina wants and needs natural gas. While Duke Energy Corporation needs natural gas to generate electricity, Piedmont Natural Gas Company's customers are demanding more gas for their own homes. Since 2011, Duke Energy Corporation has vastly expanded its natural gas position, firing up five new natural gas plants in the wake of coal-fired power plant retirements. 

Both companies purport that a new pipeline will increase both the reliability and diversity of natural gas supplies in the state. 

Currently, North Carolina's only natural gas pipeline is part of an interstates connection. The proposed wholesale pipeline could increase its geographical stretch, allowing for "future low-cost expansions with minimal environmental impact." 

If all goes as planned, the proposed pipeline will come online in 2018, pumping as much as 900 million cubic feet per day through the Tarheel state. 

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