Coal group officials blast Obama after plug pulled on FutureGen

By Gary Scott on February 5, 2015 at 2:31pm

Reaction continues to come in following the announcement of the Department of Energy to not fund the FutureGen 2.0 carbon-capture energy project.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity blasted the DOE’s close-out notice and notes it came just a day after President Obama requested about $842-million for fossil energy programs in the FY2016 budget, including for carbon-capture and storage power systems.

Laura Sheehan with the clean coal coalition says the decision doesn’t paint the president in a good light.

“The Obama administration is engaging in misleading doubletalk on clean coal technology. Although the administration leaned heavily on FutureGen technology to justify its flawed use for its Performance Standards Rule, the president has now cut the project off altogether, demonstrating his hypocrisy towards the American people and his bias against advanced clean coal technology,” says Sheehan.

“This administration has made no secret about the fact that it wants to take coal out of America’s energy mix, which is a sad thing, considering that coal provides nearly 40 percent of electricity for America. Carbon-capture storage technology is critical to advancing clean coal technology in this country and globally.”

Sheehan notes that in 2006, Obama, then a U.S. Senator, described the FutureGen project as the “future of coal in the United States.”

“He also advocated strongly for his home state of Illinois to become the home for FutureGen, contending that, and I quote, ‘With our vast coal deposits, skilled labor force, and technological know-how, there is no better place than Illinois for this plant to be located.’ So, it strikes me quite odd as now his administration has now cut off funding for this important project altogether,” she says. “This is a disgraceful act, in my opinion.”

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner released a statement yesterday expressing their disappointment in the decision to end federal funding for FutureGen. The statement says, “We will not give up on this state-of-the-art technology and bringing new jobs to the state.”