IN Supreme Court to hear arguments in Rockport gas plant case 

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By Megan Banta

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Sept. 5 in the case of the proposed $2.8 billion coal-to-natural-gas plant proposed for Rockport.

The five-member state high court announced its decision to take up the case last week and released the date for arguments on Thursday.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a 30-year contract between the Indiana Finance Authority and Indiana Gasification, LLC for the purchase and resale of substitute natural gas in 2011. In 2012, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed that approval based on a clause in the contract that is contrary to state law.

The Indiana Finance Authority and the Rockport developers agreed to drop that clause from the contract. But after the General approved a new regulatory measure during the most recent session, developers were no longer willing to do so, as they say the new standards might cause the project to fail.

Instead, the developers - and the project's opponents - petitioned to have the case transferred to the Supreme Court.

Developers are hoping for a reversal of the Appeals Court's decision so they can proceed with the contract while avoiding the new regulations. In order to do so, they need the state's highest court to approve the contract as written, without ordering changes.

Megan Banta is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students and faculty.

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