Hoffman wants federal officials to reconsider FutureGen funding

From Illinois Business Journal news services

BELLEVILLE – A bill drafted by State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, calls on federal officials to renew efforts to encourage economic development by restoring funding for FutureGen, a clean coal project that could create more than 1,000 Illinois jobs.

Hoffman is sponsoring House Resolution 189, which urges Congress to restore the $1 billion in federal funding promised for the FutureGen project, a clean-coal plant planned for Illinois. As of this past week, the bill had been assigned to the House Energy Committee but no hearings have been scheduled on it.

FutureGen was funded through a partnership between the federal government, Illinois and private-sector companies. However, the federal government revoked $1 billion in funding in February.

Hoffman is also the author of the book “Hope from the Heartland,” which lays out a plan for job creation and clean energy by utilizing Illinois’ natural resources.

“Many Illinois jobs were canceled when the federal government revoked funding for this clean coal project,” Hoffman said. “I have long been a supporter of developing cleaner energy sources and this project would have paved the way for other cleaner and more sustainable energy technologies. I hope our federal leaders will reconsider this decision, and join me in working to create jobs in Illinois.”

The FutureGen project was awarded to Illinois in 2007 and was slated to be the world’s first near-zero emissions commercial-scale, coal-fueled power plant. If completed, the project would bring $12 billion in overall economic benefits to the state and up to 1,610 jobs according to a study by the University of Illinois Regional Economic Application Laboratory.

“It makes no sense to pull the plug on this groundbreaking project at such a critical time for investments in clean energy technologies,” Hoffman said. “We must come together to invest in a sustainable future in Illinois, and I urge Congress to restore these vital funds.”

More information about the FutureGen project is available at www.futuregenalliance.org.

For further information about this issue or any state issue, please contact Hoffman’s full-time constituent service office at 618-416-7407 or by email at [email protected]

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