IBJNews

Indiana court wades into coal gas plant dispute

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The state Supreme Court agreed Thursday to step into a dispute between backers and opponents of a proposed $2.8 billion coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana.

The justices said they will hear Indiana Gasification LLC's appeal of a lower court ruling invalidating a section of the company's contract with the Indiana Finance Authority. The contract required the state to buy the plant's synthetic gas at a fixed rate and resell it on the open market for a 30-year period, with Indiana utility customers receiving the profits or shouldering the losses.

"This is just what I expected it to do. And then the next step will be taken, whatever that is," said Senate Utility Committee Chairman Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis.

Legislation approved in April requires the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to consider new ratepayer protections that were not initially in place when regulators first approved the deal. Opponents of the Rockport plant, including natural gas utility Vectren Corp, said the contract would cost Indiana utility customers as much as $1.1 billion in higher rates. The 30-year deal would tie 17 percent of Hoosier gas users' bills to the Rockport plant's rate.

Developers suspended work on the plant days after the bill's passage and said that the project was effectively dead. A spokesman for the developers did not return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.

Vectren spokesman Mike Roeder said both sides had asked the high court to step into the dispute.

"I guess I view it as another step in the process," he said.

The plant about 30 miles east of Evansville, which is also run by New York-based Leucadia National Corp, would turn coal into synthetic natural gas.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT