Indiana extends leadership in clean coal with synthetic natural gas technology

INDIANAPOLIS, Inc. — Indiana solidified its place as a leader in homegrown clean energy production after Gov. Daniels signed into law today a bill to bring Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) technology to the state, billions in energy savings and new jobs.

Senate Enrolled Act 423 was the first bill the governor signed into law for the 2009 legislative session.

Authored by Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield) the new law allows the Indiana Finance Authority to purchase SNG directly from power plants and sell the gas to utilities dollar for dollar under a 30-year contract. Hershman said through the state’s new contract, Hoosiers may see a significant reduction in their energy bills.

From left to right: Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), co-author of SEA 423, and Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield), author of SEA 423, join Gov. Daniels as he signs the first bill of the legislative session into law which extends Indiana’s leadership in clean coal.

From left to right: Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis), co-author of SEA 423, and Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Wheatfield), author of SEA 423, join Gov. Daniels as he signs the first bill of the legislative session into law which extends Indiana’s leadership in clean coal.

Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) is created when coal is put through a gasification process which safely removes the vast majority of unwanted pollutants, leaving a clean burning pipeline-quality gas that can be transported and used just as natural gas is used to heat many Hoosier homes. Synthetic Natural Gas is produced with 99 percent fewer emissions than a traditional coal power plant.

Hershman said the measure allows Indiana to use its own coal and pay Hoosiers working at the energy-producing facilities instead of sending money to other states. For example, in southern Indiana this law could help create an estimated 1,000 construction and 500 permanent jobs at a clean coal facility.

“Several years of work went into making this legislation a vehicle for Indiana to be a leader in producing electricity from clean coal,” Hershman said. “Our state has the largest and first facility of its kind for producing clean coal and we are first in producing gas from coal.”

Hershman said Senate Enrolled Act 423 is an essential step in securing the low-cost energy, economic development and environmental benefits of a SNG plant.

“Natural gas markets can be unstable and often fluctuate,” Hershman said. “Since Indiana coal prices have proven to be affordable and more stable than natural gas, this technology will provide Hoosier ratepayers a more reliable and consistently priced gas source.”

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