Indiana appeals court throws out 30-year gas-buy deal

A court ruling has thrown into question the future of a proposed coal gasification plant's deal to sell its synthetic natural gas to Indiana and its utility customers for 30 years.

The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday threw out the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's approval of Indiana Gasification's deal with the Indiana Finance Authority. That means a new contract must be approved before Indiana natural gas customers are committed to buying the Rockport plant's gas for 30 years.

Attorney Jerry Polk for the consumer watchdog group Citizens Action Coalition says it's hard to predict what happens next with the deal his client opposed. He expects "a lot of gnashing of teeth and fighting and litigation ahead."

Gov. Mitch Daniels' office had no comment on the ruling despite championing the deal.

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