A utility opposing a proposed southern Indiana coal-gasification plan says a deal obligating Indiana natural gas customers to pay for its energy would add $1.1 billion to utility bills over eight years. That's an average of $375 per residential customer.
The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday (http://indy.st/PDQUCw) that Vectren Corp. estimates all residential gas customers would see their gas bills increase an average of about $3.90 per month during the period.
A spokesman for developer Leucadia National Corp. calls Vectren's estimates "absurd." Gov. Mitch Daniels says through a spokeswoman he continues to support the project.
Independent energy industry analysts agree with Vectren that Indiana ratepayers will likely subsidize the Rockport plant for five to 10 years. Some say ratepayers ultimately could benefit from the deal put together by the Daniels administration.