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Environment

Administration Cancels Carbon Capture Project

by Steven Gibb
February 9, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 6

The Obama Administration has canceled the FutureGen 2.0 project, the goal of which was to demonstrate how an aging coal-fired power plant could capture climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions and store them belowground. The $1.68 billion retrofitted coal-fired power plant in west-central Illinois was expected to start up in 2017. But DOE notified project managers last week to halt work. DOE spokesman Bill Gibbons says the action was taken “in order to best protect taxpayer interests.” But supporters continue to believe that “carbon capture and storage technology is critical for the world’s energy future if we are serious about developing clean energy and reducing carbon emissions,” says Ken Humphreys, CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, which was developing the project. Environmental groups are backing the government’s decision. “One billion in federal funding and hundreds of thousands of dollars in Illinois ratepayer financing can be freed up for investment in clean energy,” according to Holly Bender of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

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