Court gives Duke Energy go-ahead for rate increase

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has given Duke Energy the green light to raise electricity rates to pay for its $3.5 billion Edwardsport coal-gasification power plant.

The court ruled unanimously Wednesday against environmental and consumer groups that sought to overturn a decision made by state regulators in 2012.

The ruling allows Duke to charge its 790,000 Indiana customers a 16 percent increase in their monthly bills to pay for construction and financing costs.

The appeals court acknowledged the southwestern Indiana plant was originally supposed to cost $1.9 billion, but said state regulators took that into account. The judges also say Duke will pay for some of the higher costs.

Citizens Action Coalition Executive Director Kerwin Olson tells The Indianapolis Star his group may appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.

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