JUNO BEACH, Fla., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Power & Light Company today issued a request for proposals (RFP) to build a third major natural gas pipeline to serve Florida. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120301/FL62738LOGO ) Over the past decade, FPL has reduced its use of oil by 98 percent by investing in new, highly efficient power plants that use clean, U.S.-produced natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity. In 2001, FPL used more than 40 million barrels of oil to power customers; in 2012, the company will use less than one million barrels. With the two existing major natural gas pipelines serving peninsular Florida nearing full capacity, the state needs new natural gas transportation infrastructure by 2017 to meet the growing need for natural gas power. A new major natural gas pipeline will also improve the reliability of the state's critical fuel transportation system and expand the state's access to onshore sources, helping reduce exposure to offshore sources in the Gulf of Mexico and supply interruptions caused by tropical weather. "Replacing foreign oil with natural gas makes good sense for Florida and the nation. It has saved FPL customers billions of dollars in fuel costs. It also provides significant environmental benefits by lowering emissions. However, as we continue to increase our use of U.S.-produced natural gas and as the needs of the state's residents and businesses grow, we can't rely solely on the two major pipelines that currently serve the state. A new, third pipeline system that includes a hub to interconnect all three pipeline systems in Central Florida is essential for the continued reliability and security of the state's supply," said FPL President Eric Silagy. Florida uses more natural gas for electricity than any U.S. state other than Texas, with about 60 percent of Floridians' power generated by plants that burn natural gas. But, unlike Texas, Florida has minimal natural gas production, no storage capabilities and only two major pipelines to deliver the fuel necessary to power the peninsula's residents and businesses. In addition to meeting demand for additional natural gas and mitigating risk, building a new pipeline will generate thousands of jobs during construction and millions of dollars in new tax revenue for local schools and governments.