State Rep. Win Moses joins CAC in urging IURC to reject SNG Contract

Tue, 04/19/2011 - 00:00

Testimony filed yesterday by Citizens Action Coalition in the proposed Indiana Gasification, LLC substitute natural gas plant (SNG) proceeding currently before the IURC included a letter from State Representative Win Moses (D, Ft. Wayne) urging the IURC to reject the proposed contract between Leucadia and the State of Indiana for the purchase of SNG. Both CAC and Rep. Moses believe the contracts negotiated by the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) fail to meet the objectives laid out in SEA423, particularly with respect to the guarantee of ratepayer savings.

SEA423, passed in 2009, allows the IFA to enter into 30 year contracts for purchase of SNG from Leucadia National Corporation who plans to build and ostensibly own a coal gasification plant proposed for Rockport, IN. At the time, Rep. Moses was Chairman of the House Utilities Committee and was one of the House sponsors of the legislation.

“In summation, although I was open to the project and even sponsored legislation on behalf of it, I strongly urge the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to reject the contract now in question in this cause.” wrote Rep. Moses. “As described in testimony by utilities and those representing ratepayers, the evidence strongly suggests, indeed is overwhelming, that the contract between the State of Indiana and Leucadia Corp. represents too great a risk for ratepayers and the economy of the state to bear.”

Kerwin Olson, Program Director for CAC, was highly critical of the Utility Consumer Counselor’s (OUCC) lack of analysis and failure to live up their duty of representing the public before the IURC.

“The OUCC is virtually silent on the issue of the SNG contract guaranteeing ratepayer savings as mandated in SEA423,” said Mr. Olson, “I fail to recognize how the OUCC can claim the contract meets the objectives of SEA423 if they did not necessarily analyze it with the interests of Indiana ratepayers in mind.”

Rep. Moses concludes his letter by stating: “The evidence strongly suggests that it is Leucadia’s profits that are being protected by the contract before the Commission, not the bank accounts of Hoosier ratepayers. That was certainlynot my intent when agreeing to hear the bill as Chairman of the House Committee on Commerce, Energy, & Utilities.”

A copy of the letter from Rep. Win Moses and the testimony of Kerwin Olson are available upon request.

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