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Local Group Rejects Plans for ‘FutureGen 2.0′

It turns out residents of Mattoon, Ill., aren’t too happy with the Department of Energy’s plans to can the embattled FutureGen project and replace it with a stripped-down FutureGen 2.0.

According to The Hill:

[T]he economic development organization for Coles County, which houses Mattoon, rejected the idea Wednesday.

“It is with great disappointment that I must inform you that the citizens, neighbors near the site, business leaders, and community leaders in Coles County are nearly unanimous in the belief that the pursuit of FutureGen 2.0, as proposed, is not in our best interest,” said Angela Griffin, president of Coles Together, in a letter to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

As I explained last week, DOE announced plans to create FutureGen 2.0 by retrofitting a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill., with “advanced oxy-combustion technology,” and that it would dedicate $1 billion of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the project. Mattoon, the original site of FutureGen, was given a consolation prize. The concentrated carbon dioxide produced in Meredosia will then be transported through a pipeline to a new carbon storage facility in Mattoon.

The now-defunct FutureGen project — which, if completed, would have been a near-zero emissions coal-fired power plant — was seen by many experts as the nation’s test-case for whether the country can adequately capture and store harmful greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants.

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