Critics say pull the plug on Future Gen

      With Ameren's decision to back out of FutureGen 2.0, critics of the project said it is time to pull the plug on it.

      Representatives of the Heartland Institute, Illinois Policy Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense and Friends of the Earth all said the clean-coal plant planned for Morgan County is too costly and relies on unproven technology that could cause environmental problems.

      The groups say the plant should be paid for with private, not government, investment. The federal government is providing $1 billion toward the project.

      Plans call for a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia to be retrofitted for the project at a cost of about $1.1 billion. Another $550 million would be spent on a pipeline to carry carbon dioxide from the plant an underground storage area in Morgan County.

      In late November, Ameren withdrew from a development agreement on the project with the U.S. Department of Energy. The company did not give a reason for the decision.