CATF Fossil Transition Project


Background on the CATF US Fossil Transition Project


The Clean Air Task Force (CATF) believes that a climate solution is not possible without widespread carbon capture and sequestration (CCS).  We seek to:


  • De-carbonize coal globally by mid-century.
  • Establish carbon capture and storage as a major global industry.
  • Create a new generation of technologies and institutions capable of removing carbon dioxide that has already been released to the atmosphere.


Our approach to CCS is fundamentally different than other nonprofit environmental groups that operate internationally and across the United States.  We measure success by “steel in the ground” for new coal conversion technologies, capture technologies and sequestration. 


CATF is unique in our support of projects that advance technology.  We have worked over the past seven years in support of over twenty coal and CCS projects.  These projects are often controversial.  Some environmental groups have opposed the projects we support because they oppose all coal projects.  Others groups took no position because they only support CCS projects if they are “perfect.”



CATF, however, recognizes that technology must grow, often taking small steps before it can be fully mature.  We support projects as they seek air permits, rate recovery for construction, grants and other government support.  We work directly with industry on getting more federal and state money to support these projects.  We communicate with national and international news outlets, seeking to be seen as an honest arbitrator in coal and climate factual disagreements. The table below highlights of our work over the past few years and illustrates our approach:



Direct Project Facilitation

CATF Activity

Why this Project is Important


Duke, Edwardsport, IN


630 MW IGCC plant with proposed partial CCS


• Intervened with Indiana Wildlife Federation in support of Duke’s 630 MW IGCC plant (2007 –Present) before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Commission approved plant construction.

• Convinced Duke to seek approval to add partial capture and storage to the proposed plant (2007). Duke now seeking 20% capture and developing sequestration, also pursuing >50% capture and storage.

• Supported Duke’s air permit before the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Air permit issued.

• Filed successful brief in support of the project when environmental opponents appealed IURC construction approval.  Project approval upheld; CATF brief cited as providing legal basis for court decision.

• Worked extensively with news media in Indiana and nationally in support of Edwardsport.  Project has editorial support from all major state papers, extensive national press including New York Times.


Edwardsport is the world’s largest coal-based IGCC. It is more than 26% complete.  This is the first coal-based IGCC to be built in the United States or Europe in nearly 20 years.  Even though the new plant will produce 11 times more electricity than the plant it replaces, it will emit less sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury in one year than the existing plant does in one month. Funds were approved by state regulators to start a $17 million detailed engineering study for 18% carbon capture at the Duke Edwardsport IGCC plant.  With continued effort, Edwardsport could be one of the first US large-scale commercial carbon sequestration project in 2015.


Tenaska, Taylorville, IL


SNG plant with 90% CCS (via EOR) and co-located 530 MW NGCC Plant


• Supported $5 million request for state FEED dollars funding (2004). Money received.

• Supported air permit for the plant (2007).  Permit issued despite appeals from environmental opponents.

• Urged developer to incorporate CCS (2008).  Company agreed to 50% capture and storage via EOR.

• Supported state legislation to allow the plant to be rate based (2008).  Legislation became law despite intense opposition.

• Supported $17 million FEED study funding request (2008). Money granted.

• Supported federal loan guarantee request (2009).  Loan guarantee initial approval granted.

• Supported project at EIS hearing (2009).

• Support project in Illinois legislature as it seeks final construction authority (Present)


This SNG-NGCC plant will reduce CO2 50% relative to a conventional coal plant.  Storage depends upon the construction of Denbury’s proposed Midwest CO2 pipeline that connects the Midwest with Gulf Coast EOR. The plant needs one modified air permit and a final state approval to begin construction in 2011.


CATF helped pass a key law to  support this project. The Illinois Clean Coal Standard requires electric utilities to purchase up to 5% of their electricity from plants like Taylorville.  By 2017, all new coal plants built in Illinois will be mandated to store at least 90% of total CO2 emissions to be eligible for this provision.



AEP, Mountaineer, WV


Existing PC plant with small PCC demo


• Supported AEP’s $300 million request to DOE to expand demo to commercial scale (2009).  DOE grant awarded.

• Helping AEP find overseas investors in Mountaineer to meet DOE grant requirements (Present)


This is the first large-scale commercial demonstration of chilled ammonia technology coupled with sequestration.



Midwest CO2 Pipeline


Proposed 700 mile pipeline connecting MS EOR fields with Midwest coal projects


• Extensive meetings with Denbury to facilitate the pipeline (2008, 2009).

• Supported IL state grant money for feasibility study (2009). Funds granted.

• Supported eminent domain authority in Indiana legislature to build pipeline (Present) Legislation passed key committee.

• Supporting eminent domain authority in other states (KY, IL )to support pipeline (Present).

• Media work to support pipeline (2009 – Present).  New York Times story on pipeline.


This proposed 700-mile pipeline for CO2 is the longest, and first trans-region CO2 pipeline proposed in the United States.  It is the key to storing CO2 from at least three - five new coal-CCS projects.


Summit, Texas Clean Energy Project, TX


270 MW IGCC with ammonia production, 90% capture and storage via EOR


• Met with Summit, introduced IGCC concept, and urged them to enter the business (2004). Summit began developing IGCC project with Siemens.

• Supported Texas legislation to grant incentives worth  $100 million per project that does 70% CCS via EOR (2009).  Signed into law.

• Supported Summit’s DOE grant application for funds (2009).  Company awarded f $350 million in DOE Clean Coal Power Initiative funding. Company credits CATF letter as critical to funding decision.

• News media support for the project (Ongoing). CATF often quoted in support of the project.





The project is on schedule to break ground this year or early 2011. Received air permit December of 2010.

Other State and Federal Policy Efforts

• Reports: Issued “Coal Without Carbon” a federal R&D CCS roadmap (2009).  Report used extensively to support new projects such as CIRI (Anchorage, AK) proposed underground coal gasification project with CCS.

• Reverse Auction: CATF’s work was the driving force for including a reverse auction in Waxman-Markey climate bill as the main mechanism for distributing a projected $180 billion for CCS over the next 50 years.  CATF accomplished this objective by developing detailed policy concepts and educating key House staff about them.

• First CO2 BACT Analysis (2008): CATF played a key role in getting the nation’s first CO2 BACT analysis filed by a coal plant.  Cash Creek KY filed a CO2 BACT analysis in support of the facility’s efforts to modify its IGCC air permit to an substitute natural gas (SNG) plant and a co-located NGCC plant.

• Indiana Incentives: In March 2009, CATF helped a bill in Indiana become law that allowed a 90% capture coal-to-methane gasification plant to enter into 30-year contracts with the state.  The bill was a major step in helping the Leucadia (90% capture) SNG plant in Rockport Indiana gain a federal loan guarantee.

• In 2009 CATF established, for the first-time, a working coalition of coal companies, technology vendors, project developers, and environmental groups to push policy makers for focused federal incentives.  This work is ongoing.