Indiana Senate panel delays Rockport plant hearing

An Indiana Senate panel has delayed a hearing on a bill involving the state's plans to buy synthetic natural gas from a proposed coal-gasification plant.

Senate Utilities Committee chairman Sen. Jim Merritt said Thursday he's delayed until next week a hearing on the bill involving Indiana Gasification LLC's planned $2.8 billion plant in the Ohio River city of Rockport.

The Indianapolis Republican told the panel he delayed the hearing on the bill because "it's too large of an issue to hurry."

The Indiana Finance Authority signed a 30-year contract with the plant's developers to buy its gas and sell it on the open market.

The bill that will be heard next Thursday calls for the plant's developers to periodically refund the state for any losses it incurs under the contract.

Natural gas prices have plummeted in recent years, with mass extraction of natural gas from shale deposits.


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