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Statement of John Thompson, Clean Air Task Force Director of Coal Transition Project on Mattoon FutureGen Selection


"I congratulate Mattoon and the State of Illinois on winning the FutureGen competition. FutureGen is an important step toward changing coal from global warming problem to global warming solution.


The States of Illinois and Indiana need to leverage the FutureGen selection into even greater environmental gains. While FutureGen will demonstrate 90% carbon dioxide capture and storage, it is a small 275 MW demonstration plant, not a commercial one. Real progress on cleaning-up coal requires building large-scale commercial coal plants that capture at least some level of carbon dioxide.


Two large proposed 630 MW commercial coal plants--one near Edwardsport, Indiana and one near Taylorville, Illinois-- will use similar gasification technology as FutureGen. With support from the States of Illinois and Indiana, both of these plants could capture 20% of their carbon emissions and remain economically competitive.


We urge Governor Daniels and Governor Blagojevich to complement the Mattoon site selection by adding two "NowGen" plants to the FutureGen selection.


By flanking FutureGen with two commercial-sized plants that capture 20% carbon dioxide, it is possible to create a trio of plants that could truly change the path of coal world-wide.


Indiana economic regulators gave the Duke Edwardsport plant permission to build last month. As part of the decision, Duke must return with plans for studies to capture and store 20% carbon dioxide within 6 months. The Edwardsport plant awaits an air permit decision that is expected in January.


Tenaska received an air permit from Illinois EPA last summer for its proposed Taylorville, Illinois facility. Legislation enabling it to move forward with construction unanimously passed the Illinois Senate. The company now needs action from the Illinois House to facilitate construction. The legislature should move forward with this legislation, and also include provisions to fund partial carbon capture."


About the Clean Air Task Force


The Clean Air Task Force is a national environmental organization that is dedicated to restoring clean air through scientific research, public education, and legal advocacy. The Clean Air Task Force is comprised of twenty professionals with backgrounds in science, engineering, law, economics and public outreach headquartered in Boston but located throughout the United States. CATF is recognized as one of the nation's leading environmental organizations addressing air quality and atmospheric protection issues, and its work is widely respected in government and industry. For more information about the Clean Air Task Force, see