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Death of a Turkey

DOE’s move to ‘restructure’ FutureGen clears the way for more rational R&D.

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2008

should be focused down, exclusively dedicated to the primary purpose of commercial scale demonstration of CCS. And we are choosing to eliminate the hydrogen aspects of the project.”

In effect, FutureGen’s cancellation allows DOE to direct its funds toward projects that make more practical sense; DOE increased its requested budget for clean-coal technology by 25 percent, to $648 million, and focused more of its overall power-technology allotment on advancing nuclear power.

DOE deserves due credit for making what must have been a politically difficult decision. Rather than continuing to protect a technology turkey whose primary purpose was to provide political cover, Bodman, Sell and company sacrificed the turkey for the greater good. Perhaps the sacrifice came later than it should have, but better late than never.