NORTH CAROLINA -

Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners have proposed building a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because the enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and it burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal.

The 550-mile project will begin in Harrison County, West Virginia, and stretch to Robeson County, N.C., in the southern part of the state.

The partners, which included Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources, expect to receive regulatory approval by mid-2016 and to start operating the pipeline in 2018.