Gov. Perry: Texas One Step Closer to Becoming Home of FutureGen
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement upon learning that both sites Texas submitted to compete to become home to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) FutureGen project have made the "short list" for final selection, placing them among the final four sites under consideration for the $1 billion public-private initiative to build the world's first near-zero emissions coal power plant:
"Texas has once again proven it is a leader in diversified energy production, and we are one step closer to having the world's first near-zero emission coal fired power plant in Texas. Both Texas sites bring unique strengths to the FutureGen project and represent the extraordinary resources of our state. We will continue to work with the Texas congressional delegation to bring FutureGen to Texas."
The Texas sites are located near Jewett in East Texas and Odessa in West Texas. Texas submitted the two proposals to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, a non-profit consortium of coal producers formed to partner with DOE for this initiative, in May. The Alliance is scheduled to announce its final selection in fall 2007 with groundbreaking set for 2008. The facility is projected to be operational as early as 2012.
The good news comes on the same day that the American Wind Energy Association is scheduled to announce that Texas has bypassed California as the nation's leading wind energy producer.
"I am proud that Texas is taking the lead in energy diversification and the development of renewable sources," Perry said. "As the leading producer of wind energy, and a finalist for the first near-zero' emissions power plant, Texas is doing its part to clean the air and meet the power needs of our growing population."
Also in May, the Texas Legislature passed and Perry signed House Bill 149, which made Texas the first state to assume liability for the carbon dioxide produced by FutureGen and stored in underground wells. The legislation takes effect Sept. 1, 2006, and significantly strengthened both Texas proposals.