Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

June 10, 2009

FutureGen backers await word on project’s future

CHAMPAIGN (AP) — Supporters of the FutureGen clean-coal project are growing impatient with negotiations between the Department of Energy and the power companies that want to build the project in eastern Illinois.

The companies are collectively known as the FutureGen Alliance. They’ve been negotiating with the Department of energy since March over the future of the languishing project. The Bush administration last year shelved it shortly after Mattoon was picked as its site.

Congressman Tim Johnson has urged President Barack Obama to restart FutureGen and free up a billion dollars in stimulus funding for it.

Energy Department spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller says Energy Secretary Steven Chu hopes the negotiations wrap up soon.

Chu has said the project has merit. Closed-door talks, however, haven’t yielded any news about whether FutureGen will be restarted.

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