Amid the current ethics scandal and announcement by Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) Chairman James Atterholt of a full audit of Duke Energy dockets, which include the unneeded and problem-plagued IGCC power plant under construction in Edwardsport, the time is now for Duke Energy to come clean and disclose what the true impact on consumers will be as a result of adding this boondoggle into their electric rates.
Duke has been misleading the public and the General Assembly about the true costs to consumers since they actively began lobbying for enabling legislation earlier this decade. In a press release dated November 20, 2007, Duke Energy announced the IURC granting approval to build the 630MW IGCC power plant in Edwardsport, IN. At that time, the cost to construct the plant was $1.985 billion. That press release stated: "The plant will result in an average electric rate increase of approximately 16 percent..."
Once again, the record needs to be set straight and the facts disclosed after the annual Duke Energy media tour regarding their now $2.88 billion boondoggle known as the Edwardsport integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant. This year, the propaganda was spread by the newly appointed president of Duke Michael W. Reed, fresh off his stint on the cabinet of Governor Daniels and before that at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
I'm surprised that Mr. Reed admits to the $2.88 billion and still growing price tag. What he fails to disclose is rampant cost increases and mistakes in engineering and planning. The plant was originally promised at $1.2 billion in 2006. Then in November 2007, Duke sought approval at the IURC at a cost of $1.985 billion.