Considering massive power company Duke Energy is the third-largest consumer of coal in the U.S., you’d think its forward-thinking CEO Jim Rogers would be upset about the government’s decision to effectively cut its financial support of clean coal facility FutureGen. Not so much.
Rogers told us after a speech down at the Clean Tech Investor Summit in Palm Springs that the government’s decision to basically pull its funding is “just fine” with him. The project had “fundamental problems,” and wasn’t focused in the right way, Rogers said. In fact, Rogers said the company was originally an investor in FutureGen, but that he thought “it was going no place,” so he “got out early.”
Meanwhile, the coal companies and utilities that make up the industry group the FutureGen Alliance, which was sharing the projects’ funding with the DOE, were more than a little upset at the government’s decision. The Alliance has been issuing press releases defending the project, while the DOE has been issuing releases pointing out the projects problems, mainly its soaring price tag.