VICTORY: Leucadia's Rockport Coal Gasification Plant is dead!

VICTORY: Leucadia's Rockport Coal Gasification Plant is dead!

Victory!  On March 5th, 2015, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management announced that it rescinded the air-quality permit for Leucadia National Corp.’s planned Rockport coal gasification plant!

Leucadia Corporation wanted to build and own a coal-to-gas plant near Rockport, IN.  Their complex scheme could have drastically raised your natural gas rates.

The project was called Indiana Gasification LLC, and the plant was ostensibly going to convert coal into pipeline quality gas, called substitute natural gas or SNG. 

Without knowing the real final costs of the project, Leucadia claimed that would have been a great deal for consumers. Regardless of the cost of natural gas on the market, 17% of every utility bill would have been sent to Leucadia to pay for the SNG, whether or not consumers ever received gas from the plant. That's no deal. 

After negotiations between Leucadia and Indiana’s major gas utilities failed, Governor Daniels introduced legislation in 2009 (SB 423) to have the State sign a contract with Leucadia to force ratepayers to finance construction of the plant.  SB423 passed, and then the contract was signed and approved by the IURC. CAC and allies challenged the IURC approval in the Indiana Court of Appeals.  The ruling made by the Court of Appeals in 2012 voided the contract. 

In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly passed SB494, which restored some regulatory oversight by defining what is meant by a "guarantee of savings" to ratepayers and requiring the IURC to ensure that ratepayers are provided an actual guarantee of savings from this project.

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