Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Secretary Chu Announces Clean Coal Grants, Faces Congressional Grilling

Last week energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the release of $2.4 billion in grant funds for development of clean coal technology, remarking to a meeting of the Clean Coal Council that the U. S. has the world's largest deposits of coal. Of the money released, $800 million is for efforts to reduce sulfur, nitrogen and mercury pollution, $1.5 billion for carbon capture projects, and $50 million for identification of geologically suitable CO2 injection sites.

Yesterday, Chu faced a grilling from Senators regarding their pet energy projects, including questions from Byron Dorgan of North Dakota about flat funding of clean coal research, and reduced funding for fuel cell technology; from Robert Bennett of Utah about nuclear power reactor development; from Lamar Alexander of Tennessee about failure to include nuclear power in the definition of "renewable energy," from Thad Cochran of Mississippi about strategic petroleum reserve storage in Mississippi subterranean salt domes, from Diane Feinstein of California about wind farms in the California desert, and from Washington's Patty Murray about cleaning up Defense Department nuclear weapons sites. I am guessing we can look for Senate earmarks to may of these projects.
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