Illinois Coal Industry Not Happy With Dead FutureGen Plan
The Illinois coal industry is not happy with the federal government’s decision to stop funding a clean-coal project in Illinois.
President Barack Obama's administration pulled the plug on the FutureGen 2.0 "clean-coal" power plant, which was slated to be built in central Illinois.
Originally proposed by President Bush, FutureGen was supposed to be the world’s first clean-coal powered plant. The plant was aimed at showcasing technologies to capture carbon emitted by coal combustion.
Officials say there is not enough time to complete the project before federal funding expires later this year. Exelon opposes the project.
Several states competed for the project and Illinois won - but now the state is losing what’s left of the billion dollar appropriation because of missed deadlines and not enough private investment.
Phil Gonet is the President of the Illinois Coal Association.
“So it’s kind of frustrating that we are in this spot now. We thought we could be the center for clean coal technology research, and now it seems to be taken away.”
Gonet says two pending lawsuits made private money hard to come by.
The U-S Department of Energy says the decision to close out early is in the best interest of taxpayers.
Editor's Note: Claudia Morell contributed to this report.