Feds Pull Funding On Clean Coal Project

Feb 4, 2015

Flag of the United States Department of Energy.
Credit Department of Energy

A long-planned clean coal project in Illinois is dead after the Department of Energy pulled the plug on the majority of its funding.  

FutureGen 2.0 would have been the country’s first near-zero emissions coal-fired power plant.  But without the one billion dollars in federal funding, which was originally awarded in 2010 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, companies involved say they will have to cancel the project entirely.    

In a statement, Department of Energy spokesperson Bill Gibbons said funding was suspended to "best protect taxpayer interests."  The estimated cost of FutureGen 2.0 was $1.65 billion.

Despite this news, at a recent conference in Wyoming, Dr. Julio Friedmann with the Department of Energy, said the Obama administration is dedicated to clean coal research.  

"The Department of Energy is voting with their feet to make that happen in no small part through the commitments that we’ve made around technology development and carbon capture."  

Clean coal technology, especially carbon capture and sequestration, is new and expensive.  Canada's Boundary Dam, the first carbon capture power plant in North America, cost an estimated $1.24 billion to construct and went $115 million over budget.  Much of its funding came from the Canadian government.