OPPOSITION: Sierra Club, Local citizens
BACKGROUND: In 2002 a consortium of three municipalities and the U.S. Department of Energy agreed to move forward with a 75 megawatt, $215 million waste coal gasification plant in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The plant was part of President Bush’s Clean Coal Power initiative and the DOE pledged to pay half the construction funds (up to $107 million). In 2004, the plant was described as a 90 megawatt facility. In 2006 an air permit was approved for a 98 megawatt facility.
Sierra Club and others appealed claiming the permit failed to properly control mercury and CO2 emissions. In March 2007 the West Virginia Air Quality Board denied the appeal. A water use permit was granted in August. DOE released its final environmental impact statement in November. However, project costs rose from $215 million to $450 million and the developer could not find private financing. In June 2008 DOE notified the developer the federal funding was discontinued. DOE spent $8 million and the State of West Virginia $3 million on the failed project.
LAST UPDATED: December 8, 2010