Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Kel Seliger, District 31

January 14, 2009
Contact: Christy Bertolino
(806) 374-8994

Senator Seliger Files Legislation to Create First Clean Coal Project in United States

AUSTIN, Texas — State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) today filed Senate Bill 483 to promote the construction of large-scale clean coal power generation facilities capable of capturing the majority of the carbon they produce. "This legislation represents a very important first step in making clean coal technology a reality in the State of Texas," said Seliger.

These projects will be the first of their kind in the United States, and each project could represent potential investments in excess of $2 billion per facility. Additionally, it is estimated that each project could result in the creation of over 2,000 new construction jobs beginning as early as 2010.

Senate Bill 483 would provide for a suite of incentives for eligible "clean energy projects" in Texas. To qualify, projects must be capable of producing 200 megawatts of electricity, must utilize integrated gasification combined cycle, or "IGCC," technology, and must be capable of sequestering a minimum of 60 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) they produce.

By achieving this level of carbon capture, these projects would meet both California and Washington emission standards (1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity), the most stringent in the United States.

To incentivize their construction, Senate Bill 483 provides for the issuance of up to $100 million in franchise tax credits for the first three qualifying projects. Additionally, the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas would provide reliable monitoring, measuring and verification to ensure long-term CO2 sequestration. Lastly, the current reduced severance tax rate for manmade CO2 used in enhanced oil recovery would apply to the use of CO2 from these projects for 30 years.

"I believe that clean coal technology will be the future standard for coal-fired power generation. In utilizing our country's abundant coal resources to produce much-needed energy, it is incumbent to proceed in an environmentally responsible fashion. One day, others will look to Texas as the leader in a clean coal world," said Seliger.

Seliger represents District 31 in the Texas Senate, spanning 26 counties from the Panhandle to the Permian Basin. Seliger currently serves on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, and was the author of FutureGen legislation that passed overwhelmingly last session.