By Evansville Courier & Press
Unfortunately, neither Indiana gubernatorial candidate appears willing, if elected, to re-evaluate Indiana’s 30-year deal to buy and resell synthetic natural gas produced at Rockport’s coal-gasification plant. And that’s too bad.
The Courier & Press reported recently that Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence would be open to re-evaluating the deal. However, Pence later said that was not accurate. He said that, while he has an open mind, he has no intention of revisiting the contract as an administrative matter. He said Indiana has a binding contract to buy gas from the Rockport plant, and he would honor it.
That’s too bad, for if ever a deal needed to be revisited, this is it.
Gov. Mitch Daniels already had reached agreement committing Indiana’s residential and commercial ratepayers to see 17 percent of their gas bills come from the Rockport synthetic fuel. And that deal would be in place for three decades.
Vectren, the local energy provider, earlier declined to commit to purchasing gas directly from the Rockport plant. But the state did commit ratepayers to purchase the fuel. There is much to commend this project, including the use of clean coal technology and the burning of Hoosier coal. However, why must it be done on the taxpayers’ dime?
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