King Files Bill to Promote Clean Coal Plants in Texas

January 19, 2009

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Aman Batheja

State lawmakers are preparing to debate whether there is such a thing as clean coal.

Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, has filed a bill offering up to $300 million in tax credits to companies interested in building so-called clean coal plants in Texas. The plants, the first of their kind in the nation, would be designed to sequester at least 60 percent of the carbon dioxide they produce. Under those guidelines, the plants would meet the emission standards of California and Washington, according to supporters.

The bill has backing from more than just energy companies. Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia of Dallas is co-authoring the bill. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, who, citing pollution concerns, strongly opposed a previous proposal by TXU to build several coal plants in Texas, also supports the bill in her role as Texas projects director for Summit Energy of Poulsbo, Wash.

“It’s a pretty diverse group to try and build clean coal plants in Texas,” King said, noting that Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams and Donald Hodel, energy secretary under President Ronald Reagan, are also supporters.