The Indianapolis Star recently compiled its articles relating to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission's oversight of the Duke Energy Indiana Edwardsport plant. Here are the major stories in that series:
Watchdogs slam hiring of regulator by utility: Indiana’s largest electric supplier, Duke Energy, has hired the top lawyer away from the state commission that approves utility rates, a revolving-door move that is raising howls.
Ethics controversy erupts: Governor Daniels fires the powerful chairman of the IURC in response to the Scott Storms hiring controversy.
E-mails show clubby IURC, Duke: It was late June when the Indiana president of Duke Energy sent a warm, personal e-mail to the top lawyer at the state commission that regulated his business. “I am still working the ‘you’ issue with Duke mgt,” said note. “Don’t sense a concern about making this happen, rather more of an issue of when and how.”
IURC orders sweeping investigation of Duke, former judge: Stung by findings that one of its own high-level officials had presided over hearings about the plant while talking to Duke about a job, the IURC is demanding that Duke’s chief executive appear Nov. 3 in Indianapolis to justify the need for the plant.
Ethics panel: Storms may have violated state law: Five weeks after giving a green light to Scott Storms to move from his job as top lawyer at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to Duke Energy Indiana, the state ethics panel is having second thoughts.
Ethics flap puts spotlight back on new plant: It’s a blur of activity at Duke Energy’s coal-gasification power plant, one of the largest and most expensive projects in Indiana history. But is it worth the cost?
Duke fires 2 after scandal: Mike Reed and Scott Storms are out in the wake of an ethics scandal.
E-mails suggest early doubts in ethics case: More than a month before a state ethics panel gave a green light to Scott Storms to take a job with a major utility, Gov. Mitch Daniels’ chief of staff seemed to be raising doubts that such a move would clear ethical hurdles, according to new e-mails.
IURC chief, Duke execs were pals, e-mails show: James L. Turner, the second-highest-paid executive at Duke Energy Corp., liked keeping in touch with Indiana regulators, even on a long holiday weekend when he was riding in a boat.
IURC reassigns ethics officer after scandal: Loraine Seyfried has been reassigned amid questions over her role in Duke Energy’s hiring of Scott Storms.
Scandal topples a top Duke exec: James Turner has resigned after writing hundreds of compromising e-mails to a former Indiana regulator.
Duke exec’s farewell package worth more than $10M: Disgraced James Turner will get $3.75 million in severance and will get to keep his retirement package of $6.7 million.
IURC clears Storms in nearly all Duke cases: Even as serious questions linger, the IURC is giving a nearly perfect review to Scott Storms.
Agreement on $3B Duke deal comes undone: Upset by revelations of secret discussions, a group of large industrial customers is demanding that Duke renegotiate an agreement over who will paying for the latest cost overruns at Edwardsport.
E-mails reveal Duke’s rising worries: As construction problems began mounting last year at Edwardsport, a top Duke executive compared it to a home-improvement project gone awry.
Deal would make Duke No. 1: James Rogers has made a career out of building a utility powerhouse, one merger at a time, starting 23 years ago as the new chief executive of a small, nearly insolvent Indiana utility called PSI Energy.
Duke CEO: Storms’ hiring a mistake: Scott Storms should never have been hired and wasn’t even on the list of Duke’s five finalists, according to the company’s chief executive, James Rogers.
Contractor says Duke took risks at plant: In a confidential letter to Duke, contractor Bechtel Corp. raised sharp questions about the Edwardsport project, according to internal documents.
Consumer advocates call for outside investigator: They say Indiana’s regulatory process has been so tainted with inappropriate and secret conversations between Duke and state officials that the public has lost confidence.
The $1 billion question: Was there undue influence?: James Rogers, the chairman and chief executive of Duke Energy Corp., had a private meeting last February with Indiana’s top utility regulator to talk about soaring construction costs at the company’s Edwardsport power plant.
IURC: No inquiry in Duke case: The agency said it “lacks statutory jurisdiction and the capability to prosecute allegations of criminal or ethical misconduct.” Opponents say it’s just passing the buck.
Duke plant hearing stirs strong feelings: Foes slam cost, scandal. Backers say workers, state coal will benefit
More Duke e-mails raise questions: In a new, surprising twist, Duke alerted state officials to new e-mails that are sure to raise more questions about the company’s conduct.
Group asks IURC to force Duke Energy’s CEO to testify: Big industrial customers urge the agency to compel James Rogers to explain e-mails, secret communications.
Storms testifies before Indiana ethics panel: Scott Storms, whose decision to take a job at Duke Energy Corp. touched off a cascading ethics scandal that cost four people their jobs, told the Indiana State Ethics Commission he handled all potential conflicts according to the law.
“It bothers me”: Duke CEO James Rogers had misgivings about hiring Scott Storms. What changed his mind?
Ethics panel rules against Storms, fines him $12K: Scott Storms violated state ethics law three times in jumping to Duke Energy from the IURC, the Indiana State Ethics Commission concludes.
Consumer agency: Duke must pay overruns: In a stunning reversal, the state’s utility consumer agency now says Duke Energy Corp. — and not its ratepayers — should shoulder more of $530 million in cost overruns at its coal-gasification plant in Edwardsport.
Duke accused of grossly mismanaging Edwardsport plant: In blistering language, the state’s Office of Utility Consumer Counselor on Thursday accused Duke of gross mismanagement and of concealing vital information about the plant from regulators.
New IURC chairman lobbied Duke on personnel matters: James Atterholt, the man brought in to clean up the ethical mess, had private conversations with Duke about who to hire as president of the Indiana operations.
What’s the big secret? With hearings about to start on Duke’s scandal-ridden Edwardsport project, many of the key documents are redacted or unavailable to the public.
Edwardsport plant’s price tag climbs another $200 million: Duke said it will pay for the latest overruns out of its own pocket, rather than seek to pass them along to customers.
Duke hearings to start this week: Duke Energy Corp.’s chairman will be on the hot seat this week as he tries to convince Indiana regulators that his company managed the troubled Edwardsport power plant competently and did not conceal vital information.
Duke CEO about plant: “Yes, it’s expensive”: On the witness stand, James Rogers found himself on the defensive, trying to explain how the costs got so out of hand and who should pay the bill.
Duke’s expert witness gets $3 million fee: As Duke Energy Corp. defends itself against charges that it failed to keep a lid on costs at its $3.3 billion Edwardsport power plant, the utility is now spending big bucks in another area: on an expert witness who plans to testify that Duke did nothing wrong.
Duke CEO prodded Daniels to help project: As costs were spiraling last year at Duke Energy Corp.’s new power plant in Edwardsport, the company’s chairman met privately with Gov. Mitch Daniels and asked him to help keep the troubled project on track, according to documents obtained by The Indianapolis Star.
Former IURC chairman Hardy indicted: A Marion County grand jury indicted Hardy on three counts, saying that he failed to disclose secret meetings with Duke Energy Corp. and that he helped the agency’s top lawyer break ethics laws.
IURC might unseal more documents: Depending on its decision, the agency could give a fuller picture of the engineering and construction problems at the plant, as well as the huge cost overruns that could push up monthly bills for hundreds of thousands of Indiana customers.
Regulators press Duke on secrecy: The utility ound itself on the defensive Tuesday, as Indiana utility regulators demanded to know why hundreds of documents on the company’s troubled Edwardsport power plant should be kept under seal.