Coal just can’t get a break. No matter how much coal-fired plants retro-fit and try by spending billions of dollars to keep all that evil carbon out of the air, Obama and his minions at the Dept. of Energy, EPA, Sierra Club and all other “earth justice” groups are still determined to put all coal plants out of business. And so far he’s been pretty successful. One of the more “successful” legacies Obama will have and one promise he has kept.
During the George W. Bush years, an experiment was begun in Illinois in an attempt to “sequester” carbon waste from coal plants deep in the ground. FutureGen was born with the assistance of the Dept. of Energy, an alliance of energy groups and with the help of then-governor Rod Blagojevich and Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
To make a long story short, after many pitfalls and setbacks, the FutureGen coal-fired plant was started in 2009 and construction of the FutureGen2 plant began in September of 2014 in Matoon, Illinois. NOTE: while Obama was a senator, he was all for this plant which would use what is called “Carbon Capture and Storage” technology, or CCS for short. And he even awarded them via the stimulus $1.1 billion.
As shown in the picture from FutureGen, the carbon waste would be pumped to a storage facility near Ashland, Illinois and then sequestered underground. Click to enlarge:
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Almost 0% emissions from this coal plant which should satisfy Obama, the Greenies, and show the rest of the world how great U.S. technology is in controlling greenhouse gases.
The catch was the developers and those in the Alliance had to come up with some private money to assist in the development and operation.
The Alliance started out with more companies than there are now. Several dropped out after costs rose. Those that are left are Peabody Coal, Alpha Natural Resources Coal, mining companies AngloAmerican and JoyGlobal, and GlenCore, a global natural resources company. Now of course the less the number of those on board, the greater each of those left must contribute.
Then abruptly last week the Dept. of Energy yanked its funding for the plant, effectively suspending operations since it could not be sustainable with only private funds. The DOE claimed there would be insufficient time to complete the plant before the federal funding expired in September of this year. Out of the $1.1 allocated, DOE had spent $116.5 million since 2010 on the power plant and another $86 million on the underground storage facility. The excuse from the DOE was to minimize taxpayer risk. Guess that wasn’t an issue with all Obama’s failed pet projects like Solyndra. From the Daily Caller:
“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,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan went on to say it’s a disgrace Obama was all for the plant and CCS technology was he was a senator.
Of course the Sierra Club is gleeful. They had this to say in a presser:
“The U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to pull funding for the FutureGen coal plant reflects a national transition happening in many communities to shift away from coal and embrace clean energy. This project has gone through a decade of false starts and with today’s announcement, $1 billion in federal funding and hundreds of thousands of dollars in Illinois ratepayer financing can be freed up for investment in clean energy.
No matter what, you can’t make the Greenies happy. All of them, including Obama, Bloomberg et al, want coal gone. Period. Even if it can be burned with zero emissions.
I suggest they turn off the power to their homes and offices for a week and let’s see how they scream when they can’t charge their iphones.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks