Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Coal is dying, coal is dead.

Good news from the Bush administration -- and I write non-ironically!
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy, frustrated by ballooning costs for an ambitious plan to build a virtually emissions-free power plant, told federal lawmakers Tuesday it expects to pull its support for the $1.8 billion project in Illinois, lawmakers said.

The Energy Department would not publicly divulge its intentions about the plant, dubbed FutureGen, or discuss what was said during the private meeting with lawmakers, saying only that it planned an announcement within days.

But some lawmakers who attended the briefing later insisted that building the coal-fired, 275-megawatt prototype power plant anywhere other than the central Illinois town of Mattoon would be unacceptable — and grounds for a possibly nasty congressional fight.
(via Gristmill.)

Sadly, the Congressional Democrats are wasting no time in protecting this monstrosity:
Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, accused Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman of "cruel deception" of Illinoisans by "creating false hope in a FutureGen project which he has no intention of funding or supporting."

Durbin said Illinois' delegation in Congress "is going to make the case for FutureGen directly to the President."

"We will not go down without a fight," he said.
Well you should, Dick. The cost for FutureGen is closing on $2 billion for a 250 MW prototype -- a staggering $8/watt for a prototype when existing solar would deliver the same or better performance, guaranteed CO2-free. No uncertain prices in the future, no huge complexes of pipelines and sequestration pits. Oh, but also no coal miners or power workers unions. Can't have that...

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