We're just a week away from learning the future plans for the proposed synthetic gas plant in Rockport. Thursday representatives from all sides testified in front of state legislators who will vote on the matter next week. It all comes down to Senate Bill 510, proposed by Indiana Senator Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown. He says it would require three-year "true ups" to protect consumers from footing the bill if the project causes the state to lose money. "If the plant loses money, you and I and all the other gas utility ratepayers in the state of Indiana will pay all of the losses -- for 30 years. I have a big problem with that." Under the bill's terms, Indiana Gasification would be required to reimburse Hoosier ratepayers for any losses.
"We've already invested $20 million dollars," says Mark Lubbers, Indiana Gasification project leader. "This is a very big deal because if this legislation were to pass, it would kill the plant."
Vectren and several other Indiana utility companies, Indiana Farm Bureau and the state Chamber of Commerce were among several groups who spoke in favor of the bill Thursday. Indiana Gasification, a Spencer County development group and the mayor of Rockport were among those speaking against Senate Bill 510. The fate of the plant now rests in the hands of state legislators who will vote on the multi-billion dollar decision Thursday, February 21.