Thursday, February 05, 2009

Statement from Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich-On the Department of Energy’s plans to dismantle FutureGen

CHICAGO – “The U.S. Secretary of Energy’s proposal to dismantle FutureGen is an example of politics at its worst. Secretary Samuel Bodman is not only jeopardizing the benefits FutureGen promises to deliver, but he deceived the people of East Central Illinois who spent time and resources competing for the project. We’re not giving up the fight to make FutureGen a reality in Illinois.

“After an almost five-year long, rigorous site review process, the FutureGen Alliance announced on December 18th that Mattoon, Illinois will be home to the landmark project. On November 30th, 2007, the Department of Energy sent a letter reaffirming that the project was moving forward as planned. Only after it became clear that an Illinois site would be chosen over a Texas site, the Department suggested the project be delayed and now today, that it be dismantled.

“Just last night during his State of the Union Address, President Bush said that environmentally responsible energy is essential to keeping our economy growing, and that his budget provides strong funding for leading-edge technology, including clean coal. Secretary Bodman’s decision to reverse course on the most important clean coal project to date represents a striking contradiction to the President’s comments. I urge President Bush, who initiated FutureGen in 2003, to stand by the project and move it forward.

“And while we seek clarification from the Bush administration on its commitment to clean coal, it’s also critical to know where the candidates vying to replace President Bush stand when it comes to supporting FutureGen. I am asking all the individuals running for President to let Illinois voters know where they stand before voters cast their ballots on February 5th.”

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