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Monday, July 3, 2017

America’s Flagship ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment Abandoned After 11 Years And $7.5 Billion

America’s Flagship ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment Abandoned After 11 Years And $7.5 Billion

The coal industry suffered a major blow on Wednesday when the utility giant Southern Company abandoned work on its troubled Mississippi “clean coal” facility amid skyrocketing costs.

The Kemper County Energy Facility, conceived under President George W. Bush, promised to turn coal into cleaner-burning gas and provide a model for the future of coal. But after 11 years and $7.5 billion, the plant failed to produce commercially viable technology.

Last week, Mississippi utility regulators offered Southern Company an ultimatum. The firm could continue experimenting with gasification, and risk losing $3.4 billion as the power board rejects a hike to the rate paid by the 187,000 customers who get power from Kemper. Or it could convert the plant to natural gas. The Atlanta-based utility, which began burning gas in 2014 to generate power amid delays on its coal conversion technology, chose the latter.

“We believe this decision is in the best interests of our employees, customers, investors and all other stakeholders,” Southern Company CEO Thomas Fanning said in a statement.

Full story at

Source: Huffington Post

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