More Fallout For Duke Energy In Indiana
Duke Energy's operations in Indiana continue to feel the repercussions of a recent ethics scandal, particularly a large coal-fired power plant the company is building. WFAE's Julie Rose reports that an agreement that is crucial to the plant's future has disintegrated. The new coal-fired power plant in Edwardsport, Indiana is already half-built. But now it's unclear whether Duke Energy will be able to pass any all of the $3 billion cost on to its customers. A rate settlement that was hashed out in September fell apart late yesterday because of a widening ethics scandal. Consumer advocates and Duke's large power customers say they want to return to the bargaining table. They're concerned they may not have gotten the best deal in the original negotiation because secret emails have since been published showing cozy dealings between Duke executives and Indiana's top utility regulators. Three Duke Energy executives have lost their jobs as a result of the scandal, including COO Jim Turner who resigned earlier this week. Multiple investigations are underway into whether it was ethical for Duke Energy to romance - and then hire - an attorney at the Indiana utility commission who presided over decisions related to Duke's Edwardsport plant. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has already given Duke Energy approval to pass $2.35 billion of the Edwardsport construction costs on to customers. But the price of the plant has since jumped another $500 million dollars. That increase is the subject of the rate settlement that fell apart this week as a result of the ethics scandal.