February 21, 2011-by Norman Cox, Indychannel.com. Ed. Note-Valley Watch is an intervener along with Citizens Action Coalition, Sierra Club and Spencer County Citizens for Quality of Life in challenging the socialist style proposal before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
A proposed multibillion-dollar plant to produce natural gas in southern Indiana is stirring controversy at the Statehouse.
The plan calls for Indiana homeowners and small businesses that use natural gas to take on part of the risk for the plant, which would be built on the Ohio River in Rockport, 6News’ Norman Cox reported.
The proposed site for the $2.6 billion plant is currently an empty field, but Gov. Mitch Daniels wants the facility to transform Indiana coal into natural gas, utilizing a technology that has never been used on this scale. Aside from that, some have questioned the financial arrangements.
“Never before in the history of the United States has a proposition like this ever been advanced,” said Michael Mullet, an environmental lawyer.
The state has a deal with the plant’s builder, Indiana Gasification, to buy all its gas for the next 30 years. Indiana will then resell that gas on the open market.
As part of the deal, the state has agreed to pay the company a guaranteed minimum price of about $6 per British thermal unit (BTU).
If the state resells the gas for more money, it will split the excess money with Indiana Gasification. The state’s profit will be used to lower customers’ bills.
If the state resells the gas for less money, Indiana Gasification will get less money and the state’s loss will be passed along to natural gas customers in the form of higher bills. (MORE)