Durbin Statement On FutureGen Announcement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after learning that the Department of Energy has been forced to cancel federal funding for the FutureGen project due to the FutureGen Alliance’s failure to find agreement with the private partners before the expiration of the $1 billion in funding that was secured for the public-private partnership as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The Secretary of Energy informed me that because the FutureGen Alliance was unable to secure the private financing necessary to meet the conditions of the project, the Department of Energy has been forced to end their participation.   This is a huge disappointment for both Central Illinois and supporters of clean coal technology.


“A decade-long bipartisan effort made certain that federal funding was available for the FutureGen Alliance to engage in a large-scale carbon-capture demonstration project.  But, the project has always depended on a private commitment and can’t go forward without it.


“I worked on FutureGen 2.0 believing it would create jobs in Illinois and demonstrate a viable environmentally acceptable use of coal to generate electricity.  I am encouraged by the news that the Department of Energy values the injection site in Morgan County as a world class sequestration opportunity.  I am hopeful that Illinois will continue to play an integral role in developing this technology.”


Since it was awarded to the State of Illinois in 2007, the FutureGen project has faced a number of challenges including reimagined technology and site relocation.  Throughout the course of the project, Durbin has worked to protect the federal funding which required a private contribution organized by the FutureGen Alliance.  Recently, the FutureGen Alliance ran into financial hurdles that they have not been able to overcome, such as trouble securing a private-sector loan, difficulty with two major industry partners (Air Liquid and Babcock & Wilcox) and challenges from the Sierra Club and Illinois utilities.