from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2005
Contact: Lewis Simmons
(940) 689-0191


AUSTIN -- Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams today named a Mineral Wells oil and gas man to the FutureGen Texas Advisory Board, a panel charged with approving potential host sites for FutureGen -- the $1 billion Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to design, build and operate a 275-megawatt energy facility that produces electricity and hydrogen from coal with near zero emissions.

Robert Upham, co-owner of Upham Oil & Gas Company in Mineral Wells, was named to the Advisory Board. Upham is the former Chairman of the Brazos River Authority and will bring needed expertise into the state's water issues relevant to permitting for any power generation facility.

"Robert Upham will be an excellent addition to the FutureGen Advisory Board," Williams said, whom Governor Rick Perry appointed to chair the FutureGen Texas Advisory Board. "I am extremely pleased he is willing to undertake this important task for Texas. The work of the Advisory Board could shape the future of Texas for decades to come," said Williams.

Senator Craig Estes, who authored the legislation paving the way for the state's FutureGen bid, said that Upham was an outstanding selection for the board.

"I am honored that Robert Upham has agreed to serve Texas in this capacity," Sen. Estes said. "We need smart business people on this board who can help Texas make the right decision. Robert fits the bill."

In determining potential host sites, the FutureGen Texas Advisory Board will review recommendations made by the FutureGen Texas Staff, which is led by Williams and State Geologist Scott W. Tinke, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at the University of Texas at Austin.

Preliminary screening and review of the entire state for potential host sites by the FutureGen Texas team is nearing completion, and the Advisory Board will develop a list of potentially viable regional sites from those findings later this year.

"Our FutureGen Texas team has already accomplished a great deal of preliminary work toward developing the Texas proposal," Williams said. "The Advisory Board will provide us with an independent review process, and the expertise to make the best decision for Texas."

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