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Stalled carbon capture coal plant gets OK


The Energy Department is moving forward on a futuristic coal-burning power plant in Illinois that the Bush administration had declared dead.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday that reviving the FutureGen plant is an important step that shows the Obama administration’s commitment to carbon-capture technology.

The Energy Department will commit more than $1 billion to the project, under the agreement announced on June 12, with the government’s contribution drawn almost entirely from federal economic stimulus funds.

The announcement is the latest sign of the Obama administration’s commitment to carbon capture technology.

The project, planned for Matoon, Ill., is part of a broader effort to develop large demonstration projects on carbon capture and sequestration. The Energy Department is considering as many as seven such projects that would capture and put into the ground at least 1 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. FutureGen would be the project likely to be furthest along in development.bat climate change.

The FutureGen plant would use Illinois coal, which is high in sulfur and has been used less frequently after changes to the Clean Air Act in 1990. As originally planned, the plant would have experimented with coal from Texas and Wyoming, too.

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