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June 2006

States work to attract $1 billion clean-coal, zero-emission power plant

Harrisburg, PA— Pennsylvania is partnering with Kentucky and Ohio to bring to the region the world’s first coal-fueled, near-zero-emissions power plant — a $1 billion project proposed by the FutureGen Industrial Alliance and the United States Department of Energy.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, Ohio Governor Bob Taft and Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher have entered into a formal agreement to support the region’s efforts to secure the proposed FutureGen power plant. The 275-megawatt facility will create more than 100 full-time research and facility jobs, an additional 1,000 construction jobs and increased university research activities.

The three governors also have agreed to create an Ohio River Valley Coal Research Consortium of the states’ major universities and other research and technology development organizations. The consortium will advance the research objectives of FutureGen, provide review mechanisms for spin-off research projects, help transfer technological developments to industry and facilitate ongoing research collaborations.

Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh have agreed to offer and facilitate fundamental research support for FutureGen research activities.

Governor Rendell said recent energy and gasoline price spikes should serve as a warning to all American leaders that the time has come to promote conservation and clean domestic fuel development.

The Governor has launched some major initiatives to build a clean energy future in Pennsylvania. With $219,908 in state aid, the East Coast’s first state-of-the-art biofuels injection facility opened last fall in Dauphin County. The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with domestically produced biodiesel, and it will keep $6 million worth of energy dollars in Pennsylvania by reducing the state’s need to purchase imported fuels.

Governor Rendell last year banned the purchase of conventional SUVs for the state vehicle fleet and is building on this initiative with a major effort to replace conventional vehicles with hybrid vehicles. In the coming fiscal year, the state will purchase 30 hybrids and set in motion a process to continually build on this commitment so that by 2011, fully 25 percent of the fleet will be hybrids.

At least nine states have expressed interest in competing for FutureGen. All states competing for FutureGen must submit formal proposals to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance in Washington, D.C., by May 4, 2006. Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky will support each other through the evaluation processes to increase the chances of the plant being constructed locally.

FutureGen is a unique opportunity to demonstrate clean-coal technology and create new markets for the vast coal reserves in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio, and offers the potential for environmentally sensitive redevelopment of the same coalfields that fueled and sustained the industrialization of the American economy for some two centuries.


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