Specter Urges Administration to Reconsider Funding for Nation’s First Coal-to-Diesel Plant
Washington, D.C. – Senator Arlen Specter, the Senior Senator from Pennsylvania, wrote today to Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Robert Portman requesting they reconsider rescinding funding for the nation’s first coal-to-diesel project.
The administration’s intent came to light on Monday with the release of the administration’s fiscal year 2008 budget proposal.
The president’s budget contains language announcing the Department of Energy’s (DOE) plan to withdraw the $100 million Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) funding to help build the plant in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Senator Specter writes:
“At a time when our nation is grappling with energy security, we should be using every incentive and tool at our disposal to promote clean coal-to-liquid technology in the U.S. along with other important alternative energy technologies.”
Senator Specter and Congressman Tim Holden have been working on the development of the project for nearly a decade.
In fiscal year 2003, Senator Specter helped secure $100 million for the project through DOE’s CCPI.
In 2005, Senator Specter successfully included a provision in the Energy Bill authorizing the DOE to use this funding to provide a loan guarantee.
In 2006, Senator Specter hosted a stakeholder meeting with President John Rich, Jr., and potential financiers to negotiate funding, a process that is still on-going.