Rockport Indiana Gasification Contract Approval Reversed

The Courier Press has an article on the Court of Appeals decision reversing the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Rockport Indiana Gasification deal. This seems like a big deal and yet I haven’t been paying attention to it.

If anyone cares to explain or has thoughts, please do.

From the article:

An appeals court ruling has thrown into question the future of a proposed coal gasification plant’s deal to sell its synthetic natural gas to Indiana and its utility customers for 30 years.

In a 2-1 decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s approval of a controversial deal requiring Indiana natural gas customers to pay for energy from the plant planned for Rockport.

The court ruled that the Indiana Finance Authority’s contract with the plant’s developer, Indiana Gasification, went beyond what state lawmakers had authorized. Specifically, the court ruled that the contract’s inclusion of industrial transportation customers in the definition of “retail end use customer” violated the authorizing legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2009.

That means a new contract must be approved before Indiana natural gas customers are committed to buying the Rockport plant’s gas.

Some previous blog entries here and here.


  1. guy77money says

    You mean the Governor and his buddies have to abide by the law? Nothing against coal but natural gas is a whole lot cheaper, cleaner and easier to drill for. What next you will be telling me that Mayor Ballard (or is it Mayor Vaughn) will start running Indianapolis without the country club politics like he promised in his first term. Hey it’s Halloween anything is possible!

  2. guy77money says

    Ok here’s the scoop from advance Indiana written back on Nov 23rd 2011.

    Here’s a main thrust of the post below, Large Industrial customers would be exempt from the mandatory gas prices and only small businesses and your average gas customer would be forced to pay the predicted higher prices. The last coal gasification plant that was built in Indiana had huge cost overruns during the construction phase causing ratepayers to pick up the cost in higher bills.

    From Advance Indiana Blog site (A tip of the hat )by Gary Welsh:

    “Indiana Gasification is owned by New York investor Leucadia Corp., whose top Indiana executive is former Daniels chief of staff Mark Lubbers.

    Under the plan, the Rockport gasification plant would take in 3.2 million tons of coal each year, produce 47 million BTUs of natural gas and sell 38 million of those BTUs at a firm price to the Indiana Finance Authority every year for 30 years. The state agency would resell the gas daily on the national market . . .

    The risk for Indiana consumers is in the firm price. In sales on the open market, gas prices routinely rise or fall every day with supply and demand.

    But the Rockport investors always would receive from the state a firm payment: about $7.57 per 1 million BTUs, or about $7 billion over 30 years. This would cover plant operations, coal costs, shipping the natural gas and loan repayments, plus a small profit of about 5 percent on the $500 million the investors plan to spend on the plant.

    On Tuesday, natural gas futures were trading for $3.39 per 1 million BTUs, or less than half the price built into the state’s model.”

  3. Gary Welsh says

    Unfortunately, Doug, this is just a bump in the road for Leucadia. This opinion was a bigger victory for Leucadia than the opponents of the deal if you read it as a whole.

  4. Jack says

    As I understand it–we the people as gas consumers would become like an insurance policy for this venture, that is, we would get charged for any shortfall in income. Basically a subsidy to the coal industry and this company. Hopefully it is dead as a public supported situation.

  5. Carlito Brigante says

    Just one more in a chain of corrupt public-private arrangements where losses are taxpayer subsidized. And we call this crap capitalism? Capitalism without the prospect of losses is what? Republican economic policy? Plutocracy producing results? The results of one-party rule?

    It sure isn’t capitalism.

  6. Mary says

    Not a thread for this, sorry, but I have to share, since I am going through the stages of, not exactly grief, but some kind of emotion over this and I seem to be stuck in the anger stages. I got polled last night by phone, and I swear to a higher deity, it went like this:

    HIM: This is ____ calling with questions about your opinion on the economy.
    ME: Who are you working for?
    HIM: The Americans for P____________y, a non-profit group. We want your opinion on the direction America is going in.
    ME: Who are your funders?
    HIM: What?
    ME: Who financially supports your group?
    HIM: Our investors do.
    ME: If you have investors, you’re not a non-profit.
    HIM: I mean the people who give us money to keep the lights and phones on, and, you know, stuff like that.
    ME: Well, who are they?
    HIM: Like, ah, the Koch brothers.
    ME: The Koch brothers, you’re not kidding me, you’re telling me this?
    HIM: UM just a, wait, OH, ahh (hand over phone) um I said Coca-Cola. We’re sponsored by Coca-Cola.
    ME: My time is so limited, can’t talk now. (Click.)

  7. jharp says

    Was just reading your “About” section and was wondering since this blog is about Indiana have you considered doing posts on restaurants or big trees.? Or other cool stuff in Indiana?

    By the Maru Japanese Sushi restaurant in West Lafayette is awesome. Ever eat there? Out of this world soup.

    • says

      Sort of. When I initially started this thing, I had thought of recruiting some buddies of mine to do posts on business and science and finance. I used to do more sports. But, I never ended up getting too far out of the law and politics ghetto.

      My wife does some occasional blogging at Lafayette Eats on Lafayette’s restaurants.

      • Mary says

        Doug, I like the way your blog fills a niche. Especially when the state legislature is in session, I learn a lot that I would not otherwise learn about things that could affect us but may be gliding under the radar. Don’t spread yourself too thin. For example, for those of us who don’t get up to Lafayette often, restaurant info from there would be lost on us. Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

Leave a Reply