Obama Admin Pulls Plug On Stimulus Funded Clean Coal Project


All that stimulus funding for shovel ready projects…this one wasn’t ready for prime time.  FutureGen 2.0, a Bush era initiative, was slated to further demonstrate the effectiveness of clean coal by way of carbon capture and storage (CSS).  It was restarted and awarded $1.1 billion stimulus dollars in 2009.  The Department of Energy has discontinued the grant.  It seems that the majority of the money wasn’t spent.

“In order to best protect taxpayer interests, the Department of Energy has initiated a structured closeout of federal support for the project that will help maximize the value of investments to date while minimizing ongoing risks and further costs,” said DOE spokesman Bill Gibbons.

Blah, blah.  In 2006, then Senator Obama was all in for FutureGen and the technology promises made.  Now, his administration is pulling the plug due to what amounts to the energy version of cost overruns.  This, though, poses a problem for new coal plants.  The New Source Performance Standards Rule set the bar for carbon emissions so low, that no new coal fired power plant could possibly meet the standard without some sort of CCS technology.

“The Obama Administration is engaging in misleading double-talk on clean coal technology.  Although the administration leaned heavily on FutureGen technologies to justify its flawed New Source Performance Standards rule,” said Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.  “President Obama has now cut the project off altogether—demonstrating his hypocrisy towards the American people and his bias against advanced clean coal technologies.”

The reality is that FutureGen’s “failure” to demonstrate CCS technology – which is EPA mandated for new clean coal operations – proves that the environmental efforts of “clean energy” are expensive, chancy and still subject to all the rest of the environmentalist movement, which is proving to obstruct its own achievements.   As it turns out FutureGen is not the only carbon capture and storage technology in development, but it happens to be the one that has had numerous issues with environmentalists and regulators in Illinois which put a crimp in capital raising as they have tried to build containment systems.

“FutureGen 2.0 is the only project in the world that demonstrates oxy-combustion technology and fully integrates deep saline geographic storage,”Humphreys said after the DOE announced it would pull funding for the project. “Our hope is that industry and government will continue to find ways to develop (carbon capture and storage) technology for a cleaner, more secure energy future.”

“FutureGen’s goal is to capture and inject 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year for 20 years,” EPA said in September. “Sequestering 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year is the equivalent of eliminating carbon emissions from 232,000 cars.”

Maybe so, but all the plant matter that the Obama Administration would like Americans to eat rather than meat could use the CO2.

So, another green energy initiative bites the dust.  Wonder how many more will do the same before January 2017.

Quotes from The Daily Caller

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.