The story of FutureGen, the carbon-capture program advertised as “clean coal,” will include local labor. FutureGen will use a long-dormant power plant in Meredosia, a Morgan County town along the Illinois River, to capture carbon dioxide and pipe it 30 miles away, not quite all the way to Jacksonville, where there will be a FutureGen visitors’ and training center.
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The project’s leaders and representatives of 17 unions signed an agreement in Jacksonville Monday. “All that progress – engineering and permitting – is a big stack of paper unless we’ve got you,” FutureGen Alliance chief executive Ken Humphreys told labor leaders. “And it doesn't just get done by anybody; it gets done by a highly skilled workforce that knows how to work safely.”
Paul Moore of the Central Illinois Building Trades emphasized a no-strike, no-lockout provision, streamlined conflict resolution, and fixed costs. The project, forecast to put $12 billion into the state’s economy over the next 24 years, begins construction in September.