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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ind. Law - "Developer says emerging legislation would kill $2.8B Rockport plant"

Here is Tony Cook's Indianapolis Star story, filed at 2:43 PM. It begins:

After months of debate and fierce lobbying, legislation that a developer says would kill a proposed coal-gas plant in Rockport appears poised to move forward.

A conference committee of House and Senate members today announced plans to strip an unrelated bill and insert language that would require a new, more stringent regulatory review of the $2.8 billion project if a contract between the state and the plant’s developers is effectively voided in the courts, where it is under dispute.

The new review would require the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to approve, reject, or modify the contract using new guidelines intended to better protect ratepayers.

Three of the four conference committee members have supported similar legislation in the past, but all four must sign off on the latest version of the bill for it to move to a full vote before the House and Senate. Rep. Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes, opposed a previous but similar version of the bill.

That means the plant’s fate will likely be decided by House Speaker Brian Bosma, who could replace Battles with an alternative conference committee member. Bosma said Thursday afternoon that he hadn’t made a decision yet, but he said he encouraged the conference committee to use a substantially similar bill as the framework for their discussions.

The bill where the CCR is reportedly to be inserted is SB 494, which currently is about taxes, but that language would be stripped out, according to Eric Bradner, reporter for the Evansville C&P. A look at the bill at 4:20 PM shows that no CCRs have been filed. Check also the Action List. It is unknown how frequently the bill's data is updated.

If there is no action before the session ends, the Rockport project will continue.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 25, 2013 04:11 PM
Posted to Indiana Law