"Stalled carbon capture coal plant in Ill. gets OK
Energy Department says stalled futuristic coal-burning plant to move forward in Illinois
Henry C. Jackson, Associated Press Writer
On Friday June 12, 2009, 1:08 pm EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.
"Developing this technology is critically important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and around the world," Chu said in a statement.*****
Coal burning power plants are the leading source of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas linked to global warming, and finding economical ways to capture carbon from such plants is viewed as key for the future of coal if a price is put on carbon to combat 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.
The commitment to the state's coal could help the Illinois mining industry rebound from a decline from around 10,000 jobs in 1990 to about 4,000 now, said Phil Gonet, a spokesman for the Illinois Coal Association.
"Eighty percent of our coal now goes out of state because almost every power plant in this state decided to switch to (cleaner) western coal," he said. "When you have a market in your own state that may open up for the first time in 20 years, that is significant."....."
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