The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

January 31, 2007

Perry allocates $20M for FutureGen project

While the selection of the site for the U.S. Department of Energy’s FutureGen project — a $1 billion public-private initiative to build the world’s first near-zero emissions coal power plant — is still up in the air, the work being done to bring it to the Lone Star state continues in Austin.

Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that his proposed budget will contain an additional $183 million in dedicated general revenue to fund the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP), and offered his support for the allocation of $20 million to fund clean coal technology in Texas.

The U.S. Department of Energy is considering two Texas sites — near Jewett in East Texas and Odessa in West Texas — for FutureGen. These sites are under consideration along with two other locations in Illinois.

To date, the state has dedicated more than $5 million to the FutureGen project. If either Texas site is selected for the $1 billion project this fall, Perry has proposed a contingency rider to allocate $20 million to the State Energy Conservation Office to be distributed to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance.

The majority of the funds will help with pipeline easement and CO2 transportation costs.

The FutureGen Texas team, which has been developing the Texas proposals to win the project designed to utilize gasification technology to produce coal-fueled electricity, hailed Perry’s announcement as a milestone in the Texas campaign.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams, who also chairs the FutureGen Texas Advisory Board, noted that Texas leaders are particularly interested in finding a solution for improving air emissions from power plants.

“As the global debate surrounding coal-fueled power plant emissions escalates, no other state in the nation is more cognizant of theses issues than Texas,” Williams said. “That is why the federal FutureGen Initiative is so critical to the future of our state.”

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