FutureGen Texas Stops in the Brazos Valley

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The FutureGen Texas team is asking for community support. 12 finalist sites remain in the running to house the near zero emission power facility. Jewett, one of the Texas sites, the other Odessa, remains a top competitor. And to seal the deal, the Future Gen team is making last minute efforts to draw support.

"Future Gen is something that can enhance this area of Texas," Brazos County Judge Randy Sims said.

Thursday representatives from counties in The Brazos Valley and the Heart of Texas Council of Governments found out how to hopefully secure the $1 billion project.

"We feel like this heart of Texas and Brazos proposal from the Jewett site is unique to any of the 12 proposals that were submitted nationally, because this is the only one based at a lignite mind mound," Chuck McDonald with Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas said.

FutureGen is designed to produce hydrogen while storing nearly 90 percent of carbon dioxide in the ground. The stored carbon dioxide enhances the quality of oil.

The FutureGen team says the Jewett site next to the Westmoreland mining operation meets all requirements and it's an ideal location. They say now it's up to the community.

"Where the FutureGen Industrial Alliance and the Department of Energy are welcome with open arms and where they can see and feel and touch the local community that says we want you here," McDonald said.

The FutureGen Texas team expects the Industrial alliance to visit the Jewett location in the near future. If they make the trip there would only be a six to 24 hour notice. The 12 sites will be narrowed down by the end of the summer. The final selection will be made in the summer of 2007.

The plant will create a thousand construction jobs and 150 permanent ones. FutureGen Texas says the lone star state's main competitors are Ohio and Illinois. Those two states are rich in coal and have strong political support.