Pollultion-free coal plant planned in U.S. | VailDaily.com

Pollultion-free coal plant planned in U.S.

H. Josef Hebert
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado
AP Photo/U.S. Department of EnergyAn artist's rendering of the next-generation FutureGen power plant that will be built in Mattoon, Ill.

WASHINGTON – A government and industry research project to learn ways to burn coal without emitting global warming gases took a major step forward Tuesday as an industry group said it would build the facility at a site in Illinois, choosing the location over two potential sites in Texas.

The futuristic $1.8 billion power plant, known as FutureGen, will be built on several hundred acres near Mattoon, Ill., where construction is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy.

The industry group selected Mattoon over another Illinois site at Tuscola, and two locations in Texas ” Odessa and Jewett ” all of which had received favorable environmental reviews in a report issued last month.

Michael Mudd, president of the FutureGen Alliance, said at a news conference the decision was “not based on politics” but science and the technical benefits shown by the Mattoon location.

FutureGen, a private-government project with the three-fourths of the cost coming from taxpayers, has been under increasing scrutiny in Congress. Some lawmakers have questioned its soaring cost ” nearly double the $950 million originally projected ” and its long delays.

Support Local Journalism