Thursday, February 07, 2008

States prepare new pitches for emissions-free generating plant orginally planned for Illinios

After last week's announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy had withdrawn its funding support for a zero-emissions coal plant near Mattoon, Ill., several states have made plays to become the home for the $1.8 billion FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. plant (at left in a DOE rendering). Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has "put together a team of economic and energy staffers to help develop proposals aimed at bringing a FutureGen project to Kentucky," reports Roger Alford for The Associated Press.

Kentucky failed in its original bid to land the plant, "which would convert coal to clean-burning synthetic gas and pump the carbon dioxide emissions into the ground rather than releasing them into the atmosphere," Alford writes. State lawmakers passed incentives for such plants last summer, and want to capitalize on them if the Illinois plant is not built. "That, along with our vast natural resources, clearly makes Kentucky more ready than ever to take advantage of future federal investments in innovative energy development," Beshear said. (Read more)

On Wednesday, FutureGen CEO Mike Mudd said the group of coal and utility companies would work with the White House and Congress to keep the plant in Mattoon, AP reports. On Capitol Hill, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman fielded questioning about the DOE's decisions to withdraw funding. (Read more)

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