Dubois County Democrats Files Information Request on Proposed Coal-to-Diesel Plant

Dubois County Democrats Files Information Request on Proposed Coal-to-Diesel Plant

The Dubois County Democratic Party, and Indianapolis-based public interest group, Hoosiers for Justice, today announced they jointly served formal Requests for Public Records under Indiana’s “Access to Public Records Act” about the proposed industrial facility to convert coal to diesel fuel and naphtha, at Dale, on ten State agencies, entities, and office holders.
The “Ten Targets” are the City of Huntingburg, the Indiana Department of Environment Management, Indiana Economic Development Commission, and Lincolnland Economic Development Corporation, State Senators Mark Messmer (R-Jasper, Dist. 48) and Erin Houchin (R-Salem, Dist. 47), State Representatives Shane Lindauer (R-Jasper, Dist. 63) and Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty, Dist. 74), Governor Eric Holcomb, and former Governor, Vice-President Mike Pence.

Riverview Energy Corporation, a Connecticut based investment group, has proposed to build a $2.5 Billion Dollar coal hydrogenation plant (“C2D”) on 500 acres north of Dale, Indiana. Riverview estimates its coal-to-diesel facility [“C2D”] will convert 1.6 million tons of coal into 4.8 million barrels of diesel, and 2.5 million barrels of naphtha, annually.

The Requests also seek communications among the “Ten Targets” with three other parties: Builder Riverview, its compliance advisor Halliburton, and its public relations advisor McFarland PR & Public Affairs. (Halliburton was sued by 17 Indiana National Guards who alleged the Company knowingly allowed them to drink contaminated water in Iraq.)

The Requests follow Huntingburg Republican Mayor Denny Spinner’s March 11th admission to The Herald (of Jasper) he is “interested” in receiving Riverview’s industrial waste water into Huntingburg Lake, the City’s only drinking water reservoir. In the same Herald article, Director Tom Utter of the Rockport-based Lincolnland Economic Corporation admitted he invited Riverview to Spencer County and welcomed the industrial waste water use because he said Southwestern Indiana “needs more water.”

“This is not the dangerous environmental, economic, and health future we need to bequeath to the Millennials, the children, and the unborn,” said new Democratic Chair Mike Kendall today, adding “Our Party and Hoosiers will not stand by and watch their water and air destroyed for the profit of out- of-state speculators and in-state partisan gain.”

The Mayor made this admission 11 days after John Blair, of Evansville-based Valley Watch, told a Democratic-sponsored public meeting in Jasper there was a recording of Spinner expressing interest at a private meeting in accepting the industrial waste water for Huntingburg’s drinking water reservoir.

In announcing the Public Records Requests, new Dubois County Democratic Party Chair Mike Kendall said, “This is the stupidest and worst environmental idea I’ve heard in Indiana in my lifetime. It’s like Flint, Michigan 2.0. Invite industrial waste water with heavy metals and carcinogens for pregnant mothers, unborn fetuses, and young children.”
Kendall, who retired from law in December 2012 to write, was active as a lawyer and State Senator in environmental issues, including Duke’s Marble Hill Nuclear Power Plant at Madison, I&M’s Power Plant at Rockport, Barmet’s Aluminum Recycling Plant in Spencer County, Jasper Engine & Transmission’s water pollution, and BASF’s Hazardous Waste and Incineration Plant at Terre Haute. He returned to his home town of Jasper in August last year and was elected Democratic Chairman in December.

The Records Request seeks copies or all documents from 1 January 2013 to the present. In 2014, Riverview Energy Corporation changed its name from “Clean Coal Refining Company.” Under the name of “Clean Coal,” Riverview attempted unsuccessfully to build a similar facility in Vermillion County, while now Vice-President Pence was still Governor of Indiana.

The Dubois County Democratic Party and Hoosiers for Justice are represented by Indiana attorneys Tom Birk of Jasper, and Russ Sipes and Timothy Peterson, of Indianapolis. The Targets’ Responses are due by June 3rd.

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