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June 26, 2013

Citizens skeptical of plant project to hold Q-and-A

Panel will include energy, environmental and business leaders

A group of Logansport citizens is holding a question-and-answer session with energy, environmental and business leaders tonight to discuss the city’s power plant project.

“Our goal is to foster discussion among key people in the community who may not yet be committed to the Pyrolyzer (trash-to-electricity) proposal and would like more information on lowering electric rates now,” said Mercedes Brugh, who organized the event, in a statement.

The panel will include Morton Marcus, retired director of the Indiana Business Research Center; Bradley Angel, executive director of San Francisco-based Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice; and Mike Ewall, founder and director of Philadelphia-based Energy Justice Network.

The free event is sponsored by the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, or CARE, which a press release describes as “an independent group of Cass County residents concerned about the fiscal and public health impact” of the city’s power plant project.

The event will air on WSAL AM 1230 and on the Comcast local access cable channel in Logansport.

The city issued a request for proposals last November in search of a way to address its future energy needs, which officials said would eventually require spending millions of dollars in upgrades in order to continue with its current electricity distribution and fees that will be imposed on coal-burning plants by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Earlier this year, Logansport City Council voted in favor of negotiating with Pyrolyzer LLC, out of Boca Raton, Fla., to build a plant powered by refuse-derived fuel for a cost that has ranged from $400 million to $566 million.

The development of the plant will be funded by private investors who will own the plant before transferring it to the city for a period of time specified in a build-operate-transfer agreement, the details of which are currently being worked out in negotiations that are expected to go into October.

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