Proposed Rockport coal gasification plant facing more resistance - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Proposed Rockport coal gasification plant facing more resistance

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The proposed coal gasification plant in Rockport is facing more resistance. 

A consumer advocacy group is calling for the repeal of Indiana's gasification contract, saying the legislation will hurt the state's economy.

With the Citizens Action Coalition calling for the repeal of Indiana's gasification contract, 14 News asked residents in Rockport if they would like to see a plant built near their town.

Most of those we spoke to on Monday say they would, citing the prospect of job growth.

"If there is an opportunity for all of us to have a job, of course I want it here," Rockport resident Jeffrey Frank said.

Frank says the only reservation he has about a future gasification plant is the potential negative impact it could have on the environment.

"Don't come in here and build something and not take care of it. Ok? As for a job opportunity, there's plenty of people around here that need an opportunity to have a chance of work, whether it's construction or working the plant itself," Frank said.

Executive Director for the Citizens Action Coalition, Kerwin Olson, says the plant could produce more jobs, but the overall cost will not be worth the reward.

"There may be a slight economic boost and some job growth. But, at who's expense?," Olson said.

Olson says the contract doesn't include rate regulation and could lead to an unreasonable jump in consumer energy rates.

"We're going to see enormous rate increases on rate-payers, that will have a negative impact on the economy of the entire state of Indiana, including small business, including residential rate-payers, and including the level populations," Olson said.

Although many of those Rockport residents 14 News spoke to on Monday say they hope construction on the new plant begins soon, they also acknowledge it could be a while before a ruling is made on Indiana's gasification contract, either way. 

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