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Lindsay Leveen: The Kemper Gasification Power Plant, Another Failed Big Government Energy Boondoggle

August 10, 2017

The Kemper power plant, pushed by the Department of Energy to fight climate change, has proven to be a waste of money and resources, costing taxpayers and Mississippi ratepayers billions for a power plants that after 10 years still isn't operational.

More than 10 years from when it was first proposed, the mid-size, experimental Kemper Coal Gasification Power Plant is still not operational. Pushed by former Energy Secretary under President Obama Steven Chu and backed by nearly half a billion in taxpayer dollars, the experimental technologies to turn coal into natural gas to burn cleaner while capturing carbon dioxide emissions do not work. The power plant's costs have ballooned more than $7.5 billion dollars, yet it is still not working and the Public Service Commission has now said it should run on natural gas alone. Had they just built Kemper as a natural gas plant in the first place, it would have cost approximately $500 million and been operational years ago.
Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org