Here are some of the statements released from high-ranking officials when it comes to the FutureGen Alliance's decision to build its first-of-its-kind coal-powered plant in Mattoon, Illinois instead of the Texas towns of Jewett or Odessa.
Texas Governor Rick Perry:
"I congratulate the City of Mattoon, Illinois, on its winning bid for hosting the FutureGen project. And though Texas was not selected, our teams in Jewett and Odessa and our state officials deserve to be commended for developing impressive proposals to attract this project to the Lone Star State. I am certain that the public-private partnerships identified and leveraged in our bid process will be valuable as Texas looks to take on future alternative energy projects.
"Though Illinois submitted the winning proposal, the benefits of this research will span the nation. The more we invest today in alternative energy sources like clean-coal, the better equipped we will be to keep up with an ever-growing population, while keeping our environment clean and further utilizing domestic fuel sources."
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich
“We are thrilled that Illinois will be home to FutureGen. This decision represents the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and we are honored that the FutureGen Alliance and the U.S. Department of Energy have entrusted us with this groundbreaking project. FutureGen’s ‘near zero-emission’ coal-gasification technology holds great promise to revolutionize our nation’s coal industry and ensure that coal continues to be an integral part of our energy future while reducing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. As the entire world watches, Illinois is ready to get to work to ensure that FutureGen is a success.”
Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams, the chair of FutureGen Texas:
"Naturally we are disappointed that the FutureGen Alliance ultimately chose a project site in Illinois, but we congratulate our friends in Illinois and offer our full support for the project.
“The Alliance had four outstanding choices and one difficult decision to make.
"Nevertheless, given our state's rich energy legacy, I still see great opportunities for Texas.
"As Texas Railroad Commission Chairman, I will begin working as quickly as possible to make FutureGen-like projects a reality in Texas. I am convinced that by working with regional councils of government and forward-thinking energy companies, we can have these carbon capture power plants generating electricity for Texas consumers sooner rather than later.
"I am confident that all the work done by Dr. Scott W. Tinker and his staff at the University of Texas' Bureau of Economic Geology in preparing the Texas FutureGen proposals will be put to good use as we move forward with these FutureGen-like projects. There are many clean energy projects on the drawing boards, and I am confident there are more on the way. FutureGen-like projects are the way forward to securing clean, reliable power.
"The baseline work done by Dr. Tinker and his team of experts clearly demonstrates that Texas has the right geology to sequester the carbon dioxide produced by these cutting-edge projects. And just as has been the case for the last 30 years, the petroleum industry offers a ready market for the CO2 that is needed to continue their enhanced oil recovery operations.
"There is plenty of clean energy work to do and I, for one, am ready to get busy.
"My sincerest thanks goes to the local teams in Jewett and Odessa who worked so long and hard on this project. They did a tremendous service for the state of Texas.”
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin:
“The FutureGen Alliance has made a wise choice in selecting Mattoon, Illinois as the site for this project. Downstate Illinois has the coal, the geology and the commitment needed to make this project a success. The success today is a tribute to the community, the state and all those who worked so hard to secure the FutureGen project for Illinois.”
KBTX.COM NOTE: We had hoped to bring the announcemnt of the FutureGen Alliance's choice live here at KBTX.com. However, the link provided through FutureGen officials that would have led to a live streaming video did not work. We apologize for those who logged on to watch the announcement.