New legislation in Ohio hopes to attract “FutureGen” plant; OAQDA welcomes move

Columbus, OH, Dec. 5, 2005 — The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) today praised legislation introduced late last week by State Senator Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton) and Representative Jimmy Stewart (R-Albany) and aimed at enhancing Ohio’s attractiveness as the site for the $1 billion FutureGen project proposed by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and a coalition of large electric utilities and coal companies.

FutureGen will be the nation’s first near-zero-pollution power plant. The 275-megawatt plant will use coal as its fuel, produce hydrogen for use as a clean fuel source, and test the ability to store large amounts of carbon dioxide deep underground, rather than emitting it into the air. A formal Request for Proposals (RFP) is expected from DOE in early 2006.

“The future of energy technology will rely on knowledge, resources, and infrastructure already in place in Ohio,” said Mark R. Shanahan, OAQDA executive director. “This new legislation gives us additional tools that will only enhance Ohio’s desirability as the ideal site for FutureGen.”

OAQDA is a statewide task force created to prepare Ohio’s response to the federal RFP. More than 20 other states have expressed interest in FutureGen, which is expected to create 100 full-time research and facility jobs, an additional 1,000 construction jobs, and increased research activities at Ohio universities.

The legislation introduced by Sen. Padgett and Rep. Stewart shows the General Assembly’s support of Ohio’s efforts to secure the FutureGen project. It follows a second letter of bi-partisan support from Ohio’s Congressional delegation delivered to DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman in October. The Taft Administration also has expressed its endorsement for locating FutureGen in Ohio to Secretary Bodman.

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