News Release
Aug. 31, 2000

FERC Issues Favorable Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Buccaneer Gas Pipeline

HOUSTON – Buccaneer Gas Pipeline L.L.C., a joint pipeline development between Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Williams (NYSE:WMB), announced today the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has concluded in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the construction and operation of Buccaneer’s proposed facilities with the adoption of recommended mitigation measures would have limited adverse environmental impact and would be an environmentally acceptable action.

"From the very beginning, our commitment has been to construct this project in a responsible, environmentally sensitive manner, and we believe the draft EIS reflects that commitment," said Frank Ferazzi, senior vice president, Buccaneer Gas Pipeline. "The last piece of the puzzle we are now seeking is a final Environmental Impact Statement, followed by a FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. In light of the favorable draft EIS, we are increasingly confident we will receive a timely approval from FERC."

"The commission’s positive EIS review is further evidence that the pipeline is environmentally acceptable," said Tom O’Connor, senior vice president, Buccaneer Gas Pipeline. "Coupled with the Preliminary Determination on non-environmental matters issued on April 25, 2000, this study clearly indicates that a new natural gas pipeline into Florida is needed to increase competition and support the state’s growing consumption of clean-burning natural gas for electric generation."

Buccaneer expects to receive a final EIS and a final certificate from FERC later this year.

FERC will conduct a second round of public scoping meetings to give landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on the draft EIS. The dates and locations of the upcoming meetings are identified in the draft EIS as Sept. 26 in Bayou LaBatre, Ala.; Sept. 27 in Land O' Lakes, Fla.; Oct. 3 in Winterhaven, Fla.; Oct. 4 in Kissimmee, Fla.; and Oct. 5 in Titusville, Fla. Written comments also will be accepted by FERC through Oct. 24.

The Buccaneer Gas Pipeline will be designed to extend approximately 674 miles across the Gulf of Mexico, transporting natural gas from the offshore Alabama area to the state of Florida.

For more information about the project, visit the project web site at www.buccaneergaspipeline.com.

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Williams’ gas pipeline unit has headquarters in Houston with offices in Salt Lake City and Owensboro, Ky. Together, its five interstate natural gas pipelines are among the nation’s largest-volume transporters of natural gas, delivering approximately 16 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States. Its 27,300-mile pipeline network stretches from coast to coast with access to every major supply basin in the country.

Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy and communications. The company delivers innovative, reliable products and services through its extensive networks of energy-distributing pipelines and high-speed fiber-optic cables. Williams information is available at www.williams.com.

Contact: Chris Stockton
Phone: (713) 215-2010
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: christopher.l.stockton@williams.com
Contact: Jose Cox
Phone: (713) 627-5008
24 Hour Phone: (704) 382-8333
Email: jrcox@duke-energy.com