Illinois Lawmakers Try to Keep FutureGen Alive

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Members of Illinois' congressional delegation are looking for a way to keep the FutureGen clean-coal project alive.

Senator Dick Durbin says he'll hold up White House nominations to fill positions in the Energy Department. That agency earlier this year pulled the plug on plans to build the FutureGen plant in Mattoon.

Energy Department spokeswoman Megan Barnett would say only that the agency continues to work with Congress.

Durbin's an Illinois Democrat. He also hopes to craft legislation that will keep the plant in the works until a new president takes office in January.

The Energy Department has said it killed the project over rising costs. But skeptics believe FutureGen died because it was going to be built in central Illinois rather than Texas, President Bush's home state.