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Scandal fallout plagues Duke Energy's Edwardsport project

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Regulatory proceedings involving Duke Energy’s coal gasification plant, under construction in Edwardsport, have again been delayed in the wake of an influence scandal at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

The commission has pushed back another hearing, set for Oct. 26, to Dec. 2.

Last month, Gov. Mitch Daniels fired IURC Chairman David Hardy after it was revealed that Hardy was aware an administrative law judge handling the Edwardsport case, Scott Storms, was jockeying for a job with North Carolina-based Duke.

Storms was later hired by Duke, but he has since been put on administrative leave while the Daniels administration and Duke investigate.

Duke cases handled by Storms have been opened for review. Citizens Action Coalition asked the commission to stay the latest evidentiary hearing regarding the Edwardsport plant, as well.

Duke argued that the hearing should have proceeded because it amounted to a routine update on the construction of the $2.9 billion project and that further delays in the process will serve to increase the cost of the generating plant set to open in 2012.

Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Joe Hogsett, confirmed he would refer the IURC matter for possible federal review, following a request by CAC and Common Cause of Indiana. The groups are dubious of the Daniels administration’s ability to investigate allegations of official misconduct. Daniels appointed Hardy, and CAC noted that Daniels has been a supporter of Duke’s coal gasification plant.

Moreover, Duke is a financial backer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s foundation, which has helped pay for many of the governor’s international trade missions in recent years.

“As I know you appreciate and understand, there is a distinction between reviewing a request for an investigation and opening an investigation. No decision has been made whether to proceed with an investigation,” Hogsett said in a letter to Common Cause and CAC.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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